After 16 years of tireless efforts from a team of volunteers and part-time staff, rising up the divisions to the second tier of the women's game, collecting several trophies and honours along the way, the summer of 2020 saw LCFC Women officially become part of the Leicester City family.
Transitioning into a full-time, professional outfit, the Club made 13 new signings for their third consecutive season in the second tier, while Club legend Emile Heskey joined as Ambassador.
It proved to be a historic season as promotion to the Women’s Super League was secured for the very first time. Records were broken and milestone were met throughout the campaign as City embarked on a 12-game winning streak.
A Championship record, it culminated in a 2-0 victory over London City Lionesses, which sealed a place in the WSL, before making their King Power Stadium bow on the final day of the season, collecting the trophy after a 4-0 win against Charlton Athletic. Success in the cup competitions came in the form of a first-ever run to the semi-finals of the FA Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup.
City also reached the last-eight of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup for the second successive season, achieved thanks to a 3-2 triumph away to WSL side Manchester United.
Jonathan Morgan received the LMA Manager of the Year award after scooping the FA Women’s Championship Manager of the Month on two occasions during the season. Goalkeeper Kirstie Levell shared the league’s Golden Glove prize at the end of the campaign while top goalscorer Natasha Flint collected the Championship Player of the Month award for December.
Moving into the Belvoir Drive training complex in January 2021, LCFC Women boast one of the most impressive women’s-only facilities in English football, also housing the Club’s Academy Pathway, which includes teams from age nine to 16-plus.
The Foxes played their first-ever WSL fixture on Saturday 4 September, facing Aston Villa at Banks’s Stadium, with Flint scoring the team’s maiden top-flight goal in a 2-1 defeat.
Eight days later, City’s first WSL home game at King Power Stadium attracted a record LCFC Women attendance as 4,473 watched the 3-1 loss to Manchester United.
Emile Heskey was appointed as the Club’s new Head of Women’s Football Development in October 2021, overseeing coaching, performance and recruitment at both senior and academy levels, bringing a wealth of experience to the role from a near 30-year career in the game.
A managerial change saw Lydia Bedford take over in December, successfully guiding the Club to securing their Women’s Super League status for a second season. The former England Under-19s head coach oversaw an upturn in fortunes, picking up four wins, beginning with the team’s first-ever WSL triumph at home to Birmingham City later that month.
Victories against Brighton & Hove Albion, Birmingham and West Ham United followed as Bedford received February’s Barclays Manager of the Month award during her maiden spell as a first team manager in women’s club football, as City finished the campaign in 11th place.
LCFC Women’s WSL Academy Team, coached by Louis Sowe, enjoyed a debut season to remember, winning the 2021/22 FA WSL Academy League Plate competition, beating Arsenal 2-0 in the final to claim their first piece of silverware. The summer of 2022 saw a series of new, off-pitch roles formed, including Lisa Pearce being appointed as Director, LCFC Women, as the senior staffing structure continued to grow to support the development in all areas of the business.
Important additions were also made to the coaching staff at LCFC Women, with the appointment of Stephen Kirby as First Team Coach. Emile Heskey, meanwhile, stepped up his involvement in the football operations with a new broader scope as Technical Coach, alongside his continued role as an ambassador.
Following the departure of Lydia Bedford and Assistant Manager Nicola Williams in November 2022, Willie Kirk became LCFC Women Manager, moving from his position as Director of Football - Women and Girls.
LCFC Women continue to play their home games at the Club's base, King Power Stadium. Demonstrating rapid progress and exponential growth, the Foxes are playing league fixtures in front of record crowds having more than doubled Season Ticket sales.