Len Glover

The Transfer Record: Len Glover

Club Historian John Hutchinson looks at the story behind another Leicester City transfer record.
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In November 1967 Len Glover signed for Leicester City for a club record £80,000, an English record fee for a winger. Once described as 'the best uncapped winger in the world', Len spent nearly 10 years at Filbert Street. He became a huge crowd favourite, playing over 300 games for the Club including an FA Cup Final.

Londoner Len was spotted as a 13 year-old by Charlton Athletic. He turned professional at 17, earning £13 per week.

He played nearly 200 games for the Addicks, including scoring the winning goal in a League Cup tie against Leicester City.

In 1967 Len asked for a transfer. Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea who were both interested. However the Leicester City and Charlton chairmen were both on the FA Committee and set up a move to Filbert Street.

Len was 23 and didn’t have an agent. After some hesitation he agreed to sign for Leicester after being told by Charlton that if he didn’t sign he wouldn’t be allowed to go anywhere  else.

Initially Len wasn’t happy at Leicester due to a combination of injury and homesickness.

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Len Glover
Len Glover

Len Glover in action at Wembley Stadium for Leicester City Football Club.

The following season, the new manager Frank O’Farrell, unhappy about Len’s daily trips to London to combat homesickness, put him up in the Belmont Hotel, told him to start justifying his fee and promised that if he was still unhappy in six months he could leave Leicester. This was the turning point and Len became a key player. He scored vital goals in the cup run which led to the 1969 FA Cup final against Manchester City, although a groin strain hindered his performances in the semi-final and the final.

The club was relegated from the top flight three weeks later but O’Farrell’s side was promoted back as Champions in 1971.

This heralded the Jimmy Bloomfield era characterised by entertaining players like Frank Worthington, Jon Sammels, Alan Birchenall and Keith Weller. Glover was in his element and the side became one of the most entertaining in the land.

After playing over 300 games and  scoring nearly 50 goals for Leicester City , Len reluctantly left Filbert Street in April 1976. Tampa Bay Rowdies had offered to take him on loan for the summer to get fit again following an Achilles heel operation, but Bloomfield insisted on a sale, so Len signed, foregoing his testimonial at Leicester.   

As Tampa’s captain, he played against the likes of Franz Beckenbauer, Pele and George Best. On returning to England he managed Harlow Town, ran a pub in Smeeton Westerby, and worked in the shoe industry. He now lives in Whitstable and still occasionally comes up to Leicester for matches.

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