Gordon Banks

Iconic Shirt Numbers: Six Famous Foxes No.1s

Over 136 years of history, Leicester City fans have enjoyed performances from some of the greatest goalkeepers in English football.

When Sheffield-born ‘keeper Gordon Banks joined the Club from Chesterfield in 1959, few could have predicted the legendary impact he would have on the game. 

Over his early years at Filbert Street, Banks quickly became renowned as a talented shot-stopper before becoming a key member in the ‘Ice Kings’ side which narrowly missed out on the title in 1963. 

Three years later, Banks also lifted the Jules Rimet trophy with England in 1966 and is the only Leicester City player to have ever won the FIFA World Cup while with the Club.

In total, Banks made 356 appearances for the Foxes between 1959 and 1967, lifting the 1964 League Cup, while also reaching two FA Cup Finals and another League Cup showpiece. 

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Gordon Banks
Gordon Banks

Banks lifts the World Cup trophy aloft in 1966.

Out of 73 career international caps for the Three Lions between 1963 and 1972, 37 of those came during Banks’ time as a Leicester City player.

That, of course, included a starring appearance in the 4-2 World Cup Final win over West Germany at Wembley Stadium on 30 July, 1966. 

To this day, Banks remains one of the greatest players ever to represent Leicester City.

During his whole career, Banks won the FIFA Goalkeeper of the Year award six times, was named in the FIFA 100 list of greatest players of all time and was awarded an OBE in 1970. 

He sadly passed away on 12 February, 2019 at the age of 81.

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Peter Shilton
Peter Shilton

Shilton made 339 appearances for Leicester.

When Banks departed for Stoke City in 1967, there was in fact a natural successor already training at Filbert Street; a youthful Peter Shilton

Banks and Shilton continued to work together on England duty as the latter established himself as one of the nation’s elite goalkeepers through his performances for Leicester City. 

Shilton – England’s all-time leading appearance maker – spent eight seasons at the Foxes between 1966 and 1974, playing 339 times for his boyhood club. 

From watching the Foxes in the old Double Decker Stand at Filbert Street, Shilton became one of the game's all-time great goalkeepers, being named in the PFA First Division Team of the Year 10 times.

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Peter Shilton
Peter Shilton

The former Foxes 'keeper is England's all-time top appearance-maker.

In October 1967, meanwhile, Shilton also scored the only goal of his 1,249-game career – a long ball upfield which evaded his opposite number in foggy conditions - in a 5-1 win over Southampton before also helping Leicester City reach the 1969 FA Cup Final. 

Shilton was also a vital part of the Foxes side which won the Second Division title under Jimmy Bloomfield in 1971.

Due to Arsenal winning the First Division and FA Cup double, plus taking a pre-season tour abroad, Leicester City also defeated Liverpool to win the FA Charity Shield (now Community Shield) that summer.

First Division and European Cup glory followed for Shilton at Nottingham Forest and, like Banks, he was inducted into the English football's Hall of Fame in 2002. 

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Kasey Keller
Kasey Keller

American international Keller in action for Leicester.

Following City’s League Cup triumph in 1964, the Foxes would have to wait 33 years for their next taste of domestic silverware, which came with American ‘keeper Kasey Keller in goal. 

Led by Martin O’Neill, Leicester had won promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs one season prior, but settled excellently in the top flight under the Northern Irishman’s management. 

When Millwall were relegated to the Second Division in 1996, City signed Keller for a reported fee of £900,000, although the Washington-born shot-stopper initially wore the No.13 shirt.

After those four years at the Den, Keller was already well experienced in English football, after starting his career at Portland Timbers, as a halcyon era gathered steam at Filbert Street.

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Kasey Keller
Kasey Keller

Keller quickly became a popular figure at the Club.

Keller made 43 of his 125 appearances in all competitions for the Club in his debut season at Leicester City and O’Neill’s men finished ninth in the Premier League. 

However, the 1996/97 campaign will be remembered as the year City finally lifted a domestic cup for just the second in their entire existence.

After a 1-1 draw at Wembley, the Foxes beat Middlesbrough 1-0 in a replay of the League Cup Final at Hillsborough, courtesy of Steve Claridge’s extra-time winner. 

Keller’s career included three CONCACAF Gold Cups with the USA, an entry into America's National Soccer Hall of Fame, plus the USA Player of the Year in 1997, 1999 and 2005. 

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Tim Flowers
Tim Flowers

Flowers toasts the Blue Army after one of the many victories during his time at the Club.

When the American left Filbert Street in the summer of 1999, O’Neill turned to the experienced presence of Tim Flowers, who was signed from recently-relegated Blackburn Rovers.

Flowers was a Premier League title winner with Rovers just four years earlier and, like Keller, ended his maiden season at the Club with a League Cup winners’ medal. 

While occasionally deputised by Pegguy Arphexad in the cup, Flowers made six appearances on City’s run to the final, where he helped sealed a 2-1 win over Tranmere Rovers. 

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Tim Flowers
Tim Flowers

O'Neill and Flowers are familiar faces from a fondly-remembered era.

The following September, meanwhile, Flowers won the Premier League’s Player of the Month award as Peter Taylor’s men topped the early Premier League standings.

He also played in both legs of a UEFA Cup First Round defeat by Red Star Belgrade and became known as a reliable presence in goal for Leicester over the course of his first two seasons. 

However, the arrival of England’s Ian Walker – who himself played a role in the Club’s 2002/03 promotion – limited his first team opportunities from the 2001/02 campaign onwards. 

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Kasper Schmeichel
Kasper Schmeichel

City lifted the Premier League title in May 2016.

In 2011, on the other hand, Sven-Göran Eriksson completed the signing of Danish shot-stopper Kasper Schmeichel from Leeds United for City in the Championship.

Schmeichel had worked with Eriksson twice before, at Manchester City and Notts County, but it was in fact under the management of Nigel Pearson that the Dane flourished at the Club. 

Following play-off heartbreak at Watford, Schmeichel kept nine clean sheets during a 19-game unbeaten run, spanning from December to April as City won the Championship in 2014.

There was no doubt that Schmeichel would remain Leicester’s No.1 in the Premier League in 2014/15, which ended with the Foxes winning seven of their final nine games to secure their top-flight status. 

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Kasper Schmeichel
Kasper Schmeichel

Schmeichel gets down to save Steven N'Zonzi's spot-kick in the Champions League.

The following season, on the other hand, Leicester City were crowned as Premier League champions, with Schmeichel keeping 15 clean sheets, including five in a row between March and April. 

Another Schmeichel highlight includes penalty saves in both legs of the Foxes’ dramatic 3-2 aggregate victory over FC Sevilla in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 in 2017.

Throughout his time at the Club, Schmeichel has represented Denmark both at the UEFA European Championship and two World Cup finals, winning Denmark's Player of the Year on three occasions, while coming third in the FIFA Best award's goalkeepers' category in 2018. 

In 2019/20, the 33-year-old has kept 10 clean sheets, bettered only by Burnley's Nick Pope, and the registered the same amount of shutouts as Liverpool's Allison and Sheffield United's Dean Henderson.

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