Rocking the European boat

Simpson's 'Amazing' City Memories

Right-back Danny Simpson says he will leave Leicester City with some lasting memories following five successful years as a Fox.
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The 32-year-old defender will on Sunday bid farewell to the Blue Army alongside striker Shinji Okazaki, having played a huge role in the most successful period in the Football Club’s history.

His part in City’s unthinkable 2015/16 Premier League triumph will be remembered by all in Leicester, and while he admits it will no doubt be a sad occasion, he departs King Power Stadium with new friends by his side.

Reflecting on the announcement that he will leave the Club this summer, Simpson said: “It hit me, and it’s obviously emotional. It’s sad to announce that. I think Sunday will hit me a lot more, obviously for the last game at home.

“Five years… it’s been incredible. When I first signed, I don’t think many people signed for Leicester thinking that they’re going to win the Premier League, play in the Champions League and enjoy the times that we’ve had.

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Simpson Reflects On Emotional Five Years

Danny Simpson spoke to LCFC TV after the announcement that he will leave Leicester City this summer.

“But it’s been an incredible five years and all good things come to an end, but I’m leaving with amazing memories and a lot of new friends.”

Simpson signed from Queens Park Rangers in the summer of 2014 under Nigel Pearson, but only featured 18 times for the Foxes in 2014/15.

However, the following campaign, he played in 30 of City’s 38 Premier League matches to help Leicester City shock the world of sport.

“I knew it was a good club, that’s why I signed,” he said. “Even from day one, I had a lot of friends that I had played with in the past that made me settle in quick.

I’m here and I took on a different role, helping out the younger lads here, giving advice, still training as hard as ever, but it’s been unbelievable and it’s obviously coming to an end now.

Danny Simpson LCFC TV

“The longer I’ve been at the Club, I’ve found that anyone that signs for Leicester settles in really quickly because of the group of players that are here, the staff, not just coaching the staff but the staff at the training ground.

“I came in obviously under Nigel [Pearson] and it was a difficult first six months really, but then I got in the team, enjoyed a little spell, and obviously the year after… we know about Claudio [Ranieri] and I managed to get into the team after the Arsenal game.

“Obviously we went on to have that amazing season. Over the years, it’s just gone from strength to strength, and this year, Ricky’s (Ricardo Pereira) been excellent, which is why he won both the awards (Player and Players’ Player of the Season).

“I’m here and I took on a different role, helping out the younger lads here, giving advice, still training as hard as ever, but it’s been unbelievable and it’s obviously coming to an end now.”

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The crowning moment
The crowning moment

Following City's 1-1 draw with Manchester United - Danny's former club - a 2-2 draw between Chelsea and Tottenham on 2 May meant no team in the land could catch Leicester. Simpson was a Premier League champion.

Premier League glory is of course Simpson’s greatest City highlight, but it was the breakaway moments from that period of time that will be forever ingrained in his memory.

“Obviously, the Everton game and just getting your hands on the trophy!” Simpson said. “But I think, as well, off the pitch, I’ll never, ever forget the night at [Jamie] Vardy’s house when we were all together.

“Everything… at half-time, everyone was gutted, they (Chelsea) were 2-0 down, and then it obviously got to 2-2. I just remember being in his back garden, crying my eyes out for about an hour!

“Just that whole week, that whole couple of weeks, when we were going on to do it, I’d go back to that tomorrow if I could. Then, probably, another I remember was against Manchester United when Vards got his 11th goal on the bounce.

I knew a lot of the lads before, I played with Jonny Evans for about 20 years! Obviously Wes [Morgan], he’s been like a big brother to me at the Club. I’ve said about the young lads, I’ve been helping them out and I’m close to them…

Danny Simpson LCFC TV

“I think I celebrated it like it was me that scored! I’ve got a lot of memories, but obviously, getting my hands on the trophy against Everton that day was amazing.”

A hugely popular member of the Foxes dressing room, Simpson says he will leave Leicester with life-long friendships, not only with his team-mates, but with the Club’s staff, who assisted during his five years.

He continued: “Sometimes you sign for a team and then you leave a team and, yes, they were your team-mates and you might lose contact, but here I believe I’ve made a lot of good friends.

“Obviously, I knew a lot of the lads before, I played with Jonny Evans for about 20 years! Obviously Wes [Morgan], he’s been like a big brother to me at the Club. I’ve said about the young lads, I’ve been helping them out and I’m close to them…

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The party begins!
The party begins!

The summer of 2016 will forever be remembered by the people of Leicester as the summer of partying, celebrating and toasting their Premier League champions.

“Madders (James Maddison), Chilly (Ben Chilwell), Demarai [Gray]. Obviously me and Kasper [Schmeichel]… I’ve known Kasper for a long time as well. Vards; Vards is Vards… I’m never going to lose contact with Vards! He’s a top lad.

“I could go through them all, but I’ve got a lot of good friendships here and even the staff, I’m going to miss a lot of the staff as well.” 

Khun Vichai’s role in Simpson’s City career was also a vitally important one. Simpson says he will forever be grateful for the help of the Club’s beloved late Chairman.

“He helped me in many more ways than people realise,” said Simpson. “I don’t want to get too much into it, but when I first came and I had a few issues off the field, he supported me.

“He believed in me and he was always the type of person that if he thought you was a good person, he would help you and stick by you. There’s not many people like that, especially in football.

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'Vichai Helped Me In Many Ways'

Danny Simpson discusses the impact Khun Vichai had on his career and life during five years at Leicester City.

“It could have been so easy for him to maybe have made an easy decision, but he didn’t and he stuck by me because he believed in me. I’ll never forget that.

“There’s other things as well, but that was a standout for me. I’ll never forget that and hopefully I repaid him as much as I could by the way I was off the field with the team and obviously on it.

“He’s a special person and I’ll never forget him. I owe a lot to him for why my career at Leicester has gone the way it has over the five years. I can speak for everyone. Everyone is going to miss him, everyone does miss him.

“Even little things, just coming into the training ground with a smile on his face before games and I think that’s what we brought to this club. The family, the unit. He saw us as family.

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Shocking the world
Shocking the world

A 3-1 win at Etihad Stadium in February 2016 made the world sit up. Simpson and co. were edging closer to a title nobody thought was possible.

“It was obviously devastating and something that will live with me forever, but I’ll never forget the man he was. I learned a lot from him as well, the kind of person he was, how generous he was, and the way he thought about other people first. I did learn a lot from him and Top as well. 

“I’ll remember him forever.”

With so many friends at the Club, there is no doubt that Simpson will keep a track of City’s results next campaign – and says he may even come up against them in the future.

Discussing what he believes will be a bright future for the Football Club, he added: “Brendan [Rodgers], the new manager, I think it was a brilliant appointment. You can already see what he’s brought to the Club and to the team. The football the lads are playing and just generally around the training ground as well.

It’s in my heart, I’ll always keep my eye on Leicester and I’ll still speak to the lads. Going forward for the Club, I think it’s really good times.

Danny Simpson LCFC TV

“Training everyday… everyone’s at it, everyone’s improving, everyone’s demanding more from each other and that’s come from him. He sets high standards and we’ve got some fantastic players. I’ve already told them, next season, I’ll be coming back to kick them!

“For the Club, I think the fans should be very excited for next season and the future of Leicester because I really believe that, with the manager and the players we’ve got, and I imagine with more additions in the summer, I think there will be many more special memories that will be created.

“I believe in them and they believe in themselves. It’s in my heart, I’ll always keep my eye on Leicester and I’ll still speak to the lads. Going forward for the Club, I think it’s really good times.”

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