Leicester City supporters In Leuven

Memories Made & Friendships Forged On Leicester Fans' Trip To Leuven

Last month, during the Premier League's inaugural winter break, a group of Leicester City fans headed to Belgium to enjoy King Power's famous hospitality at sister club OH Leuven.
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King Power, headed by Club Chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, acquired OH Leuven in June 2017, forging a unique bond between the two clubs – a relationship which has continued to go from strength to strength over recent seasons following similar cross-channel trips between the two cities.

With Leicester currently third in the Premier League and OH Leuven bidding to win promotion to Belgium's First Division A, King Power's dedicated ownership continues to inspire on-field success.

To toast to ever-growing bond which exists within that football family, 75 Foxes fans were invited to take advantage of an all-expenses-paid trip to the picturesque city of Leuven, 16 miles east of Brussels.

In March, meanwhile, a contingent of OHL supporters will head in the opposite direction to take in the hospitality at King Power Stadium for City's clash with Chelsea in the Emirates FA Cup Quarter-Finals.

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Leicester City supporters In Leuven

A tour of the city of Leuven was also included in the trip.

"It’s very important that the Leicester fans are here," said Hortense Goemans, the secretary at OHL's Supporters' Federation. "In Flemish we say ‘zoals broers en zussen uit dezelfde familie’ which means ‘like brothers and sisters from the same family’.

"We remember two years ago how much we liked it that you were here and when I was in Leicester too, we never forget how lovely it was in Leicester! Something that King Power wants is for us to be together.

"In Flemish we say our slogan… ‘samen zijn we sterker’… ‘together we are stronger’ and that’s the reason we’re here and why we are going, in March, to Leicester. It feels good!"

The trip itself included a host of sight-seeing opportunities as the Blue Army visited the Stella Artois brewery in the city, while embarking on a tour of Leuven's impressive town centre.

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Leicester City supporters In Leuven

The travelling City fans were OHL's guests at the club's training ground.

Over the weekend, they also headed to OH Leuven's training ground, where manager Vincent Euvrard and key players welcomed Leicester's fans and shared tales of life under King Power's ownership.

On the Saturday, meanwhile, the Foxes faithful visited King Power at Den Dreef Stadium to see the Whites seal a 3-0 victory over Lommel - and the affinity between OHL and City was clear for all to see.

"I thought it was absolutely superb," said Sat Dhadli. "It’s a lovely set-up here. From a Leicester point of view, we’ve been treated absolutely fantastically, the hospitality has been superb.

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Leicester City supporters In Leuven

The Blue Army saw OH Leuven in Belgian Proximus League action.

"You couldn’t wish for more. It was quite heartwarming to see King Power on the shirts, that got to me that did. When I actually saw that, there was a bit if familiarity there.

"The Leuven fans have been brilliant, especially when they were applauding Leicester and singing Leicester to us as well. It’s been enjoyable all the way around. It’s been a great experience, absolutely great."

Reflecting on the weekend from a Belgian perspective, Peter Willems, OHL's chief executive, said: "We’re part of one family and I think it’s the least you can do to welcome Leicester here very well for all the things that we receive from Leicester, from King Power, so it’s just basic politeness I would say to welcome them in the best possible way. 

"We’re very privileged to be working alongside a Premier League club. All the knowledge we get here on every possible field is very important for us so we’re very proud of that relationship.

"I think you could feel that also today, the fans are proud that they are the brothers and sisters of Leicester and part of that King Power family so I think it’s very, very important."

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