Caspar Rawes

Young Foxes Fan Named The Guardian's Young Sportswriter Runner-Up!

A young Leicester City fan has finished as runner-up in The Guardian newspaper’s Young Sportswriter of the Year competition.

- Leicester City Season Ticket Holder, Caspar Rawes, was runner-up in The Guardian's ‘Young Sportswriter of the Year’ contest
- His piece reflected upon last season’s game at home against Burnley and paid tribute to the late Khun Vichai
- Caspar won a signed bundle of football schoolbooks and goodies
- In its inaugural year, the national newspaper held the 600-word article competition for seven to 12-year-olds

The newly-formed competition was split into two age categories; seven to nine year-olds and 10 to 12-year-olds.

Caspar, in the seven-nine age group, finished second for his tribute piece on the Club's beloved late Chairman, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, which also documented the high emotions experienced during Leicester City's home fixture against Burnley in the 2018/19 season.

Discussing his article, Caspar said: "It’s great to be runner-up! It was really difficult to write the article; I hope other Leicester fans think the article does the match justice.

'I love going to watch Leicester City, it feels like being part of a huge family. I wanted to write about the sadness following the incident, but also the positive legacy it will leave moving forward."

Expand photo
Caspar and Neil Rawes
Caspar and Neil Rawes

Caspar Rawes and his father Neil at King Power Stadium.

For The Guardian competition, entrants were encouraged to write up to 600 words on a sporting matter of their choice.

Meanwhile, Caspar’s father, Neil, highlighted the thought and dedication Caspar put into writing his entry for the competition. 

"The competition was great for encouraging Caspar to write about something he cared about in the style of a sports journalist," he said. 

"It really encouraged him to think about how to present his report on such an emotionally-charged match, so he wrote and rewrote it to get it as worthy of the subject matter as he could. 

"Hopefully the piece reflects those emotions."

Caspar’s article in full:

He Had a Dream 

Walking towards King Power Stadium, on a chilly but bright Saturday, I was met by a sea of blue. People wearing Leicester City shirts, and flags saying 2015-16 Champions, accompanied by Burnley supporters walking in a respectful hush. Many of them walked past the stadium and back towards the City centre. They did not have tickets for the game but had marched united to show respect for Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha. This was going to be no ordinary football match. 

The scene outside the stadium had been very different the week before. Below a huge picture of Khun Vichai on the North Stand there were tens of thousands of flower tributes and hundreds of football shirts, not just Leicester shirts, but shirts from across the world of football.

Inside the stadium, the emotional atmosphere was increased by the showing of a video tribute to Khun Vichai, followed by a two-minute silence and the playing of the Last Post; the following day was Remembrance Sunday. Then a whistle, a roar of the crowd, and the football began. 

Leicester had started brightly but then faded, unsurprisingly after what they had been through. A scoreless draw probably a fair result.

In the 60th minute, the whole stadium rose waving scarves saying, ‘Mr. Chairman and Forever in our hearts’. The crowd sang, ‘Vichai had a dream.’

On the final whistle, the players stayed out on the pitch: they have given their all. They were joined in a lap of honour by their manager, Claude Puel, and former managers who had worked with Khun Vichai, they were joined by Khun Vichai’s son, Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, known to everyone as ‘Top’. 

My dad told me of a quote from the old Liverpool manager, Bill Shankley, who said, ‘Some people think football isn’t a matter of life and death. It is much more serious than that.’ After the events at Leicester this is certainly not true. However, the events have shown the power of football to unite people. The respect for Khun Vichai has brought together not just the world of football but also the community of my Midlands city. 

He had a dream. May his dream live on.

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