Arthur Chandler

Iconic Shirt Numbers: Six Of City’s Greatest No.9s

Over the course of the Club’s 136-year history, the Leicester City faithful have watched goals from some of the most iconic forwards to grace the English game.
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A new Leicester hero emerged following the First World War when 27-year-old Arthur Chandler was signed by Peter Hodge in the summer of 1923 from Queens Park Rangers.

Over the next decade, he would score an unbelievable 273 goals in 419 games. In the 85 years that have followed, no one has surpassed his goalscoring record in a City shirt, with only 1950s star Arthur Rowley coming close with 265 in 321 appearances.

But Chandler’s record still stands and it becomes even more remarkable when you consider that he shared the field with Ernie Hine for six of those years, and Arthur Lochhead, for nine.

Hine, an inside right, netted an impressive 156 goals of his own during that spell, in 259 games for the Foxes. Lochhead, meanwhile, scored 114 in 320.

In 1927/28, the trio’s goals glut helped City finish third in the First Division and, the following season they went one better, securing second spot and the Club’s highest-ever finish at that time.

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Arthur Chandler
Arthur Chandler

Arthur Chandler was part of the Leicester side which finished as runners-up in the First Division in 1928–29.

Chandler, meanwhile, was also breaking individual Club records, some which still stand to this day.

He twice scored the most goals in a top flight season, 34, in 1927/28 and 1928/29, netted the most top flight goals for the Club (203), as well as the most league goals (259).

Chandler also also holds the hat-tricks record - netting three goals in a single game on 17 separate occasions for City. 

From his debut against Hull City, Chandler made a then Club record 118 consecutive appearances.

It did not take him long to get among the goals, scoring two in a 5-0 victory over Stoke City, just two days after his first game.

His debut season alone brought 27 goals in an average side that finished 12th in the Second Division. 

He was the Second Division’s top goalscorer in 1924/25 as Leicester were promoted to the top flight as champions. 

The records don’t stop there. In October 1928, he put six past Portsmouth to equal the most goals scored by a Leicester player in one game, in the Club’s biggest ever league win - a 10-0 victory.

Chandler is also the Club’s join-top FA Cup goalscorer, with 14 strikes in the competition.

In his final season with the Club, meanwhile, he became Leicester’s oldest goalscorer against Wolves in December 1934, aged 39 years and 34 days, until Kevin Phillips beat his record some 79 years later.

Yet all of those goalscoring feats came without Chandler ever scoring a penalty. He only took two spot-kicks during his Leicester career, and both were saved.

Leaving in 1935, he finished his career with a single season at Notts County before his playing time came to a close before he returned to Filbert Way in a coaching capacity.

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Derek Hines
Derek Hines

Derek Hines is fifth on Leicester City’s all-time record goalscorers list.

As Chandler reached his peak in a Leicester shirt, in 1931, future Foxes No.9 Derek Hines was born.

Raised in Derbyshire, it was at Derby County that Hines began his football journey, but he soon became a Fox and made his first senior appearance in a Leicester shirt at the age of 17.

Some 316 more would follow between 1948 and 1961, along with 117 goals, as he helped secure the Second Division title in both 1953/54 and 1956/57, alongside prolific strike partner, Rowley.

Before that, Hines had scored six times in his first nine games, as he started to establish himself a key man at Filbert Street, making the No.9 position his own.

His first 100 City goals came in 259 appearances and in November 1958, he scored four as Leicester beat Aston Villa 6-3 in a thrilling encounter.

The forward also scored in the first-ever international youth side for England in a 4-2 victory over Scotland back in 1947.

Hines is fifth on City’s all-time record goalscorers list, only surpassed by the aforementioned Chandler, Rowley and Hine, as well as the current holder of the shirt, but more on him later.

After 13 years at the Club, Hines left and had one season spells at both Shrewsbury Town and then Rugby Town, before retiring in 1965. Like Chandler, he returned to the Club as a coach in the 1970s.

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Frank Worthington
Frank Worthington

Frank Worthington's eight appearances and two goals for England came while at Leicester from 1973 to 1975.

Frank Worthington began his distinguished 25-season playing career a year after Hines’ retirement, at Huddersfield Town, but it was with Leicester that he made the most significant contribution.

Worthington may be known as a Football League journeyman, representing a total of 24 clubs, however, in 210 league games as a City player, he scored 72 goals - 31 more than anywhere else he played.

The forward got a taste of international football playing for England's Under-23s and it was also during his time at Leicester that Worthington made eight senior international appearances as a no.9, with his two goals coming against Argentina to salvage a 2-2 draw and the winner versus Bulgaria.

His England debut was as a substitute in the 1974 British Championship victory over Northern Ireland at Wembley, with his final game coming just six months later at home to Portugal, again off the bench.

The forward signed for Jimmy Bloomfield’s Leicester side after winning the Second Division title with Huddersfield in 1969/70 - the only major trophy of his career.

Worthington narrowly missed out on the First Division title in his single season at Southampton, finishing runners-ups in 1983/84, a season in which the former City striker made 34 appearances.

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John Sjoberg and Frank Worthington
John Sjoberg and Frank Worthington

John Sjoberg and Frank Worthington battle for the ball during City's clash with Huddersfield Town at Filbert Street.

Back to his five-year spell at Filbert Street, where alongside the likes of Peter Shilton, Keith Weller and Steve Whitworth, who also all won England caps during their time at Leicester, Worthington helped form the nucleus of one of the most attractive and entertaining sides in the Club’s history.

The side enjoyed a successful 1973/74 campaign which included a ninth-placed finish and an FA Cup Semi-Final.

That league position was only bettered once during Worthington’s time at the Club - seventh in 1975/76.

When Bloomfield resigned in July 1977, despite an 11th place finish, Worthington was also on his way, signing for league rivals Bolton Wanderers, where he was the First Division leading goalscorer in 1978/79.

His time in English professional football, which also included spells at Birmingham City, Leeds United and Sunderland, ended with 757 League appearances and 234 goals.

Worthington’s footballing journey then took him to the United States, playing in the North American Soccer League, as well as in Sweden and South Africa during the latter stages of his career.

He would return to England in the capacity of player-manager at non-league level.

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Alan Smith
Alan Smith

Alan Smith's move from non-league football to the Second Division was a successful one.

The next man to make a significant an impact in Leicester’s famous No.9 jersey was Alan Smith, five years later.

Now well known to viewers for his co-commentary and analysis on Sky Sports, as well as appearing on the popular EA SPORTS FIFA video game series, it was during the early days of a five-year spell at Leicester that kick-started his fledging playing career as a 20-year-old, signed by Jock Wallace from non-league Alvechurch in June 1982.

While strike partner Gary Lineker would often grab the goals and the headlines for Gordon Milne’s Leicester City side, Smith used his 6ft 3in frame to good effect and managed 84 goals in his 217 appearances.

Thirteen of those goals came in his first season at the Club, which ended in City’s promotion to the top flight of English football.

The Foxes ended their first season back in the First Division in 15th place as Smith and Lineker formed a prolific partnership, which thrived until Lineker moved to league champions Everton in June 1985.

In the next two seasons, Smith managed 19 and then 17 league goals in a struggling City side and, after five years at Filbert Street, he made a £800,000 move to Arsenal.

The forward was then loaned back to Leicester in March 1987 and a month later, played against his new team at Highbury in April 1987.

Smith enjoyed a highly successful spell with the Gunners, winning two First Division titles (1988/89 and 1990/91), the FA Cup and League Cup in 1992/93 and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup the following season.

Individual honours came in the form of the First Division Golden Boot award for 1988/89 and 1990/91, as well as being named in the PFA Team of the Year in 1989. 

He also won 13 England caps between 1988 and 1992, before being forced to retire due to injury at the age of 32.

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Emile Heskey
Emile Heskey

Leicester's young forward, Emile Heskey, scored the equaliser which sent the 1997 League Cup Final to a replay.

The year that Smith left Leicester - 1987 - a young, local lad by the name of Emile Heskey joined the Club’s academy, aged nine.

He would rise through the youth ranks, going on to write his name in Leicester's history by scoring the equaliser which ultimately helped Martin O’Neill’s side win the League Cup via a replay in 1997.

His debut had come just two years earlier, at the age of 17, in a Premier League encounter with Queens Park Rangers, six months before his first professional contract was signed in October 1995.

He scored the first of seven league goals during the 1995/96 campaign against Norwich City, and established himself as a first-team regular under O’Neill, as Leicester earned an immediate return to the Premier League thanks to a play-off final success over Crystal Palace.

Heskey started that final and carried his scoring touch into the top flight, reaching double figures in his first two Premier League seasons.

That made him City’s top goalscorer in 1997/98 and earned him recognition in the form of a nomination for the PFA Young Player of the Year in 1997, as Emile finished runner-up to David Beckham.

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Emile Heskey
Emile Heskey

Emile Heskey formed an effective partnership with Tony Cottee (centre) during the latter stages of his City career.

Although only scoring six times in 1998/99, the Leicester-born forward formed an adept partnership with Tony Cottee, helping the Club to once again remain in the Premier League.

And when City reached back-to-back League Cup finals in 1999 and 2000, Heskey started both of them, with redemption coming by beating Tranmere Rovers, after losing the previous final to Tottenham Hotspur.

In total, his 154 Foxes appearances brought a return of 40 league goals in six years. His international exploits included over 60 caps for England’s senior side, with his debut coming during his final year at Leicester.

A ‘little and large’ partnership alongside Michael Owen proved particularly successful under the early days of Sven-Göran Eriksson’s reign, also at Liverpool, the club Heskey left Leicester to join in 2000.

It was in Merseyside where the forward won a cup treble in 2001 and ended with an almost identical games to goals record as at Leicester.

Later on in his career, he went on to play for Birmingham City, Wigan Athletic and Aston Villa in the top flight, as well as a spell with then Championship side Bolton Wanderers.

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Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy

Leicester City's current No.9 is closing in on a century of Premier League goals for the Foxes.

Also during the year that Smith left Leicester City, on 11 January 1987 to be precise, another future Foxes star was born - Jamie Vardy.

His rise from non-league striker to Premier League winner started at his hometown club of Sheffield Wednesday.

Vardy then transferred to begin his senior career at Stocksbridge Park Steels in the Northern Premier League, where he stayed for seven years.

But it was during a one year spell at league rivals FC Halifax Town in 2010/11 that Vardy was spotted by Fleetwood Town, and in his solitary season with the Cod Army, Vardy netted 31 goals in 36 National League games, as they earned promotion to the Football League for the first time in their history.

That impressive goal record earned him a move to King Power Stadium in 2012 and from then on, he hasn’t looked back.

Vardy scored five times in his first season in the Championship, as he settled into life three tiers above any level he had previously played at.

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Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy

The City striker broke a Premier League record by scoring in 11 consecutive matches during the 2015/16 campaign.

The 2013/14 season was when things really started to kick into gear for the Sheffield born striker, as he scored 16 goals in 37 games for Nigel Pearson’s second tier title-winning side.

Promotion from the Sky Bet Championship was just the start of his journey with the Foxes, as top-flight survival was, remarkably, followed by the Premier League title in 2015/16.

It was during that season that Jamie broke Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s 11-year-old record by scoring in 11 consecutive Premier league games.

Fittingly, he did it against the Dutchman’s former club, Manchester United, and ended the season on 24 league goals, with his place in the PFA Team of the Year secured.

Vardy was also named as the Premier League’s Player of the Season and the Football Writers’ Player of the Year.

A historic first venture into the UEFA Champions League came the next season, netting against FC Sevilla and Atlético Madrid, as did further international call-ups.

Vardy has played 26 times for his country, scoring seven times, including a superb equaliser in the 3-2 friendly victory over Germany in March 2016 and another leveller against Wales at EURO 2016.

His lightning pace to get in behind defences, complimented by a razor sharp finishing ability have been the hallmark of his success at the highest level.

Now 33, and fully focused on Leicester City, he still has records in his sights, leading the way in the Premier League with 19 goals this term.

The current incumbent of Leicester's No.9 shirt is one goal away from a century in the Premier League, a figure which has already far surpassed what any other City player has done in the Premier League era.

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