Matt Elliott (League Cup: 2000)

Links With The Past: City's Domestic Cup Heritage

Leicester City's rich history in both domestic cups in English football is told through mementoes of the time, now stored in the Club's archives, as told in a new feature on LCFC.com.

In the first edition of the Links With The Past series, Club Historian John Hutchinson explains the significance of a host of items, many of which are proudly on display at King Power Stadium.

City's League Cup Pride

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League Cup mementoes
League Cup mementoes

Since its inception in 1960/61, Leicester City’s record in the League Cup is impressive. Only Liverpool, Aston Villa, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Nottingham Forest have won the cup more times than the Foxes, who lifted the trophy in 1964, 1997 and 2000, as well as being runners-up in 1965 and 1999.

There are many mementoes from these triumphs in the Club’s collection. 

One of these is the scaled down replica of the League Cup pictured above. The original cup was paid for personally by Football League President Joe Richards in 1961. This replica was acquired by the Club following City’s victory at the last League Cup Final at the old Wembley, in 2000, when Matt Elliott’s two goals defeated Tranmere Rovers.   

The first Foxes captain to lift the League Cup was Colin Appleton, following the defeat of Stoke City in the two-legged final in 1964. The victorious City players were each awarded a winner’s tankard rather than a medal. This one was presented to Graham Cross and is on display in the reception area of King Power Stadium. Howard Riley’s tankard is also on display on Filbert Way.

When Leicester next won the League Cup under Martin O'Neill in 1997, by defeating a Middlesbrough side captained by Nigel Pearson, the status of the competition had increased significantly. The finals were played at Wembley, and the winners qualified for the UEFA Cup, the forerunner of the Europa League.

Muzzy Izzet’s winners’ medal from that final, which was settled via a replay at Hillsborough, is also pictured above.

The 1969 FA Cup Final

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1969 FA Cup Final mementoes
1969 FA Cup Final mementoes

In the Club’s archives, there are many memorabilia items relating to Leicester City’s 1969 FA Cup Final against the 1968 league champions, Manchester City. The 100,000 fans who were at Wembley paid a record £128,000 in gate receipts. Frank O’Farrell’s Foxes lost 1-0, with the goal being scored by Neil Young.

The highlights of the match commentary were issued on a 33 1/2 rpm mono-vinyl long-playing record. It was released by BBC Radio Enterprises. The sleeve notes say that the game was 'the best Cup Final in years' and 'a match to remember with a warm afterglow for its sparkle, its excitement and its sportsmanship'.

The 32-page Daily Mirror FA Cup Final Souvenir booklet cost 3/6d (17 1/2 pence). It contains many photographs, both in colour and in black and white, of the players and managers. It also details the road to Wembley taken by both sides.

Pre-match community singing, conducted by a white-suited Frank Rae, was a big feature of cup finals half a century ago. The words of songs like ‘Abide With Me’, ‘The Last Waltz’ and ‘Keep Right On To The End Of The Road’ were included in the Daily Express Community Singing song sheet.

The blue and white Daily Express Leicester City headband is made of thin card and was one of thousands distributed to the crowd. Thousands of City fans also wore customised rosettes specially designed for the occasion.

The two telegrams from Zambia, wishing Leicester City luck for the FA Cup Final, were among the many telegrams sent on cup final day to the Club. These are now in the Club’s archives. Leicester City had established close links with the Zambian FA when they went on a tour to that country in May and June 1968.

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