Danny Simpson

Iconic Shirt Numbers: No.2s Who Excelled In Leicester

The No.2 shirt has been worn by several notable figures, internationals and cup winners among them, across Leicester City's entire history.
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One man to adorn the famous shirt in City's colours was full-back Len 'Chopper' Chalmers, who joined the Club from Corby Town in 1956. Indeed, two games in particular stick in the memory.

The first was the Geddington-born defender's debut for the Foxes, a trip to Birmingham City on the final day of the 1957/58 season, where Chalmers helped his side seal a win to secure First Division safety.

Famously, one of his 204 appearances for Leicester came in the 1961 FA Cup Final, where Matt Gillies' men suffered a 2-0 defeat, conceding both goals after Chalmers suffered a bad injury.

It wasn't until the emergence of John Sjoberg that Chalmers yielded the right-back position, but he nonetheless played a key role off the field, petitioning to abolish the maximum wage rule in football.

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Len Chalmers
Len Chalmers

Leicester missed Chalmers after his injury in the FA Cup Final.

Peter Rodrigues was the next notable figure to occupy the No.2 shirt after signing at Filbert Street for a Club record fee of £42,500 before going on to make 171 appearances for the Club over five years.

His Foxes debut came on New Year’s Day in 1966 against Stoke City and he quickly earned a reputation for a mastery of the sliding tackle, endearing him to the fans early on in his time in Leicester.

During that passage of time, Rodrigues also won 16 more full international caps for Wales (out of a total of 40), including two against Brazil, when he marked the legendary Mané Garrincha.  

During the 1968/69 season, Peter was hindered by an ankle injury, but with Frank O’Farrell in charge, he was involved in every tie in the run to the 1969 FA Cup Final, including a famous success at Anfield.

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Peter Rodrigues
Peter Rodrigues

Rodrigues was a popular figure among the Filbert Street faithful.

Three weeks after the final, a 1-0 defeat to Manchester City at Wembley Stadium, the Foxes also fell to a 3-2 loss at Old Trafford against United and were relegated after 12 seasons in the top flight.

By the time Rodrigues had departed for Sheffield Wednesday in 1970, Leicestershire-born right-back Steve Whitworth had emerged onto the scene and took ownership of the No.2 shirt.

While only used sparingly under O'Farrell's management, Jimmy Bloomfield came to rely upon Whitworth's calming presence and the full-back only missed three games throughout his six-year tenure.

At one point, Whitworth starred in 198 consecutive matches for the Foxes, making seven appearances for England at international level in the process, while scooping the fans' Player of the Year prize in 1975.

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Steve Whitworth
Steve Whitworth

A goal-line clearance from Whitworth against Spurs.

Despite his classy performances for Leicester, Whitworth in fact only scored one solitary goal for the Club, the winner in the 1971 Charity Shield (now Community Shield) 1-0 triumph over Liverpool.

The England star eventually joined Sunderland in 1979 with 373 Foxes appearances under his belt. in 1992, meanwhile, another impressive defender joined the Club, Simon Grayson.

Signed by Brian Little, from Leeds United, Grayson became the first Leicester player to lift a trophy at Wembley Stadium (as the 1964 League Cup was sealed over two legs, home and away).

As City's acting captain, the Foxes defeated Derby County in the 1994 First Division Play-Off Final - courtesy of a brace of goals from Steve Walsh - to promote the Club to the newly-formed Premier League.

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Simon Grayson
Simon Grayson

Grayson was the Club's first trophy-winning captain at Wembley.

While Leicester's stay in the top-flight was limited to just one season, Grayson continued to play a key role under both Mark McGhee and Martin O'Neill during the halcyon 1990s era at Filbert Street.

As well as helping O'Neill's Foxes return to the Premier League in 1996, via a play-off win against Crystal Palace, Grayson was the Club's Player of the Season in 1996/97, as City won the League Cup once more.

In the end, however, Grayson departed to link up once more with former manager Little at Aston Villa after registering 229 outings for the Foxes over a five-year spell in the East Midlands.

In 2014, as Nigel Pearson's side prepared for their maiden campaign back in the Premier League in over a decade, Queens Park Rangers full-back Danny Simpson joined the Club, initially wearing No.17.

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Danny Simpson
Danny Simpson

Simpson featured regularly as City reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League in 2016/17.

Indeed most of Simpson's greatest achievements for the Foxes came wearing that number; playing a role in City's 'Great Escape' of 2014/15 before making 30 appearances in the stunning title win a year later.

It took time for the Manchester United academy graduate to displace Ritchie de Laet - the preferred right-back during the 2013/14 promotion-winning campaign in the Sky Bet Championship.

However, Simpson was recognised as the Club's primary right-back for three years, making 132 appearances (including six in Europe), under Pearson, Claudio Ranieri, Craig Shakespeare and Claude Puel.

His final season in Leicester, meanwhile, nonetheless saw the former Newcastle United right-back brought on by Brendan Rodgers as a late substitute on the final day of 2018/19, earning a rapturous send-off.

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