Andy King: Leicester City Bids Farewell To A Legend
- Andy King to leave Leicester City at the end of the 2019/20 season
- Chairman thanks Andy for his outstanding contribution
- Club to arrange future event to mark his 16 years of service
- King set to finish the season on-loan at Huddersfield Town
The 31-year-old Wales international will depart King Power Stadium after honouring his loan at Championship side Huddersfield Town, which started in January and is due to run to the end of the season. The Championship campaign will restart on 20 June.
The Club intends to give supporters an opportunity to thank Andy for his contribution when it is safe and possible to do so, hosting an event befitting his 16 years of service. It will also be Andy’s chance to thank the Leicester City faithful for their support during a memorable Foxes career.
A pillar of consistency, dedication and professionalism throughout his time on Filbert Way, Andy’s place among the Leicester City greats is undisputed. A ray of youthful hope at its lowest ebb, he was the constant of one of the greatest stories in the history of the game, as the Foxes climbed from League 1 to Premier League champions and into the UEFA Champions League in the space of seven years.
Andy was a key part of it all. At Belvoir Drive, he became a reference point for player standards on and off the pitch and a popular team-mate, colleague and friend. On the pitch, he won countless admirers for his displays in midfield – building a reputation as a gifted, disciplined technician and a ruthless finisher that always put the team before self. A true player’s player.
King's first trophy saw him win League 1 with Leicester City in 2008/09.
His adaptability and commitment to constant improvement is best demonstrated in his status as the only player in the Premier League era to have lifted the League 1, Championship and Premier League titles with the same club. It is a feat that may never be repeated.
Andy’s 378 appearances put him 10th on the Club’s all-time list, while his 62 goals make him the highest scoring Leicester City midfielder of all time.
Leicester City Chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha said: “I’m so grateful to Andy. He is the only player still here that was with the Club when King Power took over 10 years ago. He’s been through everything with us and is an amazing guy. He’s been a massive part of what the Club has achieved in that time and earned the respect of so many people.
“I could talk about the important goals Andy has scored or the medals he has won, but his contribution goes far beyond that. The young players he’s helped, the change he’s embraced, the ways he’s supported our communities, the culture he’s helped to build – few players have contributed so much over such a long period of time.
“Like so many of our fans, I’m sure, I look forward to a time when I can thank him in person. For now, we wish him well with the next stage of his career, in which he has so much more to give.”
Having joined the Club as a 16-year-old, Andy excelled immediately and was part of the Under-18 side that lifted the Premier Academy League title in 2007. He made his first team debut later that year – a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing season for City, as the Club was relegated to the third tier for the first time in its history.
The Wales international then won the Championship five years later.
From the start of the following season, still just a teenager, King became a regular in the team and a core part of the group that stormed to the League 1 title, returning to the Championship at the first time of asking and only missing out on back-to-back promotions in a sobering play-off experience at Cardiff City. Similar play-off heartache followed in even more dramatic circumstances at Watford three years later, but such adversity would become the fuel that fired a stunning response, with King among the protagonists.
Powered by the arrival of King Power and the Srivaddhanaprabha family in 2010, the Foxes were on the move and ended their 10-year absence from the top flight in style in 2014 – breaking all manner of records en-route to the Championship title and promotion to the Premier League.
Andy played 26 times in City’s first campaign back in the top tier – a season that looked destined to end in relegation until his late winner in a crucial meeting with West Ham United in April sparked a run of seven wins in City’s final nine games. It was his first Premier League goal and arguably the most important of his 62 for the Club.
Following Claudio Ranieri’s appointment as manager, Andy remained an important part of the City squad for a 2015/16 season that started with public derision and ended in unimaginable glory. Andy appeared 29 times that campaign as City defied pre-season odds of 5,000-1 to stun the world and lift the Premier League title. His goal on the day of our coronation – a typically accomplished finish in a 3-1 win over Everton – was a thoroughly warranted moment of personal acclaim for a loyal servant on the greatest day in the Club’s history.
After lifting the League 1 and Championship titles, King was key to City's sensational 2015/16 Premier League win.
An international regular throughout his senior career, King’s form for City earned him a place in the Wales squad for the 2016 European Championship Finals in France, where he made three appearances in their run to the semi-finals. He furthered his European experience at Club level the following season, making four appearances for City in our voyage to the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Finals.
The evolution of the City squad under Claude Puel and Brendan Rodgers has seen King seek opportunities for regular first team football on loan at Swansea City, Derby County and Rangers prior to his most recent spell with Huddersfield, but his connection with Leicester runs deep. He was among a number of senior players that led and supported our young squad during the tragedy of Chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha’s passing in 2018 and remains a trusted source of advice and experience to a number of the Club’s young players.
Few players have committed themselves to the Club’s cause over such a sustained period, served through such a spectrum of experiences, or contributed to such change, as Andy has in the last 16 years. That, coupled with the success he helped the Club to achieve on the pitch, marks him out among the greats to have pulled on the shirt.
He leaves with the thanks of everyone at the Club for an immeasurable contribution.
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