Jose Mourinho and Sven-Göran Eriksson

Links With The Past: Memorable Friendly Encounters

As Leicester City continue their 2019/20 Premier League campaign into the summer months - usually reserved for pre-season friendlies and oversees tours - Club Historian John Hutchinson remembers some of the most memorable such occasions in the Foxes' history.
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Over the years, City have played some very prestigious friendly games. This century alone, opponents have included FC Barcelona, Real Madrid C.F., Celtic and A.S. Monaco, as well as ACF Fiorentina and Inter Milan - both managed at the time of their visits by Roberto Mancini, who briefly played for Leicester in the Premier League.

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Real Madrid memorabilia
Real Madrid memorabilia

In addition, German Bundesliga sides visiting Leicester have included Borussia Dortmund, Hannover 96, Eintracht Brunswick, Hertha Berlin and Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Valued mementoes from all of these games are carefully kept at the Club. Three of these are illustrated here.

The Miners’ Lamp was donated 62 years ago by Dortmund, whose initial games against City were in 1957 and 1958, when the teams played twice at Filbert Street and once in Germany. The game at Filbert Street in October 1957 was the first ever to be played under floodlights at the old ground.

The green glass football trophy, meanwhile, was presented to the Club by Martin O’Neill’s Celtic in April 2002. This was the last friendly fixture ever to be played at Filbert Street. Additionally, the pennant was presented by Real Madrid on the occasion of their historic visit to Leicester in July 2011 for the inaugural match at the newly-named King Power Stadium.

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Everton memorabilia
Everton memorabilia

Alongside a 63-year-old programme, marking Leicester's 1958 Second Division win, the other two items of memorabilia, above, are themed around Wednesday's Premier League opponents, Everton.

In 2014, part of the 25th anniversary celebrations of King Power, Leicester headed to Thailand to face the Toffees in a pre-season friendly at the Supachalasai National Stadium in Bangkok.

The Foxes won the game 1-0 and the glass trophy was presented to Nigel Pearson's men by Everton to commemorate this game.

The Thai sports newspaper featuring the game was loaned to the Club by Keith Allen, a Season Ticket Holder who witnessed City receive the King Power trophy after the match. The Thai writing on the front page, on the other hand, translates into: ‘Gary Taylor-Fletcher scores a goal to stop the Toffees in an exciting game’.

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