He is part of the furniture at the Football Club, but it's more than that in reality. Over the years, he's raised millions of pounds for local charities with Herculean runs around the pitches at Filbert Street and King Power Stadium. He's been a counsellor to staff and footballers alike through the ages, a figurehead at grand events and a representative around the world wherever the Foxes go. He's Mr. Leicester City.
There's few Foxes fans who haven't met the Birch and been struck by his love for the Club. But over 50 years ago, he was just the latest recruit as Jimmy Bloomfield put foundations in place for a halcyon era in the 138-year history of Leicester City. Nobody could have known what was to come.
Many know him as the man with the mic on Filbert Way, but Alan was an exceptional footballer – a swashbuckling forward for much of his career, who is still fondly remembered not just in the LE postcode, but also by supporters of Sheffield United, Chelsea and Crystal Palace.
Although his role at the Club on matchdays is to rally the Foxes faithful from the centre circle at King Power Stadium, the Birch does so much more. The Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Foundation, with the Birch as its driving force, uses the reach of the Premier League, the passion of fans and a creative approach to fundraising to benefit its community in a number of ways.
Money raised over the years has gone towards several important causes, including the funding of a renovation of Leicester Royal Infirmary’s Children’s Outpatient Ward and life-saving equipment desperately needed by the Children’s Intensive Care Unit.
The Birch has supported dozens of local causes throughout the years, including Leicester Hospitals Charity, LOROS, Rainbows Children’s Hospice, Leicestershire Children’s Holiday Centre and by installing life-saving defibrillators in key areas around the county.