Andy King

Andy King: The Academy Graduates

Andy King leaves Leicester City this summer after a wonderful 16-year spell which enabled him to win titles in the Premier League, Championship and League 1.
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Since his debut in 2007, King made 378 appearances for the Foxes, scoring 62 goals, as the Club was transformed from a side competing in the third tier of English football to one capable of glory in the most celebrated league in the world. However, his impact at Leicester City was felt off the pitch too, most notably by the youngsters emerging through the Academy.

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Andy King
Andy King

King himself progressed through the Club's youth ranks to become an established member of the first team squad.

An Academy graduate himself, King was a mentor to some of City's most successful youngsters, including Hamza Choudhury, Ben Chilwell and Harvey Barnes, among many others.

After hearing from Jamie Vardy, Kasper Schmeichel, Matty James, Marc Albrighton and Wes Morgan earlier this week, that youthful trio explain the role King played in their own careers...

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Hamza Choudhury & Andy King
Hamza Choudhury & Andy King

Choudhury credits King with playing a key role in his own development at Leicester City.

Hamza Choudhury said: "My first impression of Kingy was just how really friendly he was. I was quite young when I first met him and he went out of his way to come over and speak to us. He’s always made time for us, especially when I was in the youth team and the Under-23s, but then obviously after coming into the first team, I realised that he’s hilarious too. He took a lot of pressure off my shoulders. He helped me relax and enjoy my football. He makes you feel good. He tells you what you’re good at and how to keep cool in high-pressure moments. He’s really comfortable to be around and so easy to trust and to talk to. As a person, to me, Kingy is a role model. That’s the only way I can describe him. After watching him when I was younger, at the age of about eight or nine, to then play with him was a realisation of how far I’d come. To have him there was amazing. He should be remembered as a hero at the Club. I don’t think anyone will do what he’s done in the game, to win the titles in League 1, the Championship and the Premier League. It’s amazing. He’s done it by performing really well at every level as well. It’s just a credit to him. He worked so hard for it all and he’s got everything he's deserved. Thank you, Kingy, for all of your help over the years and for being you. We’re going to miss having you around the dressing room so much. All the boys are gutted, but we’ll stay in touch."

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Andy King & Ben Chilwell
Andy King & Ben Chilwell

King and Chilwell celebrate Leicester City's UEFA Champions League Round of 16 victory over Sevilla in 2017.

Ben Chilwell said: "The first time I met Kingy, I was probably about 18-years-old, just breaking into the first team. He was one of the senior players. As one of the players who was coming through the Academy, I looked up to him because he’d gone through the same path. He was probably the easiest player to get on with straight away. He was really good to me. He helped me integrate with the boys. It can be daunting coming through into the first team dressing room. Anyone that goes through that could find it nerve-wracking, so to have someone there that was so good to me really helped me through things. Kingy off the pitch is probably the funniest character I’ve come across in football. If you ask the boys, they’d probably say the same thing. He’s got such a dry sense of humour. If you’re struggling with something away from football, though, he’s the first person you could talk to as well. My favourite memory with Kingy is probably his wedding, seeing how happy he was that day, and it was just a great day. For me, I think he’s got to go down as one of the greatest players to play for Leicester City. Winning League 1, the Championship and the Premier League, that’s some achievement that nobody’s done before. He should be remembered for what he’s done for the Club, but away from the pitch as well, I’ve not met a better person. He’s a great friend. Thank you, Kingy, for helping me throughout my career. When I was 18 and quiet, you were the one that helped me come out my shell. You gave me such a good role model to look up to."

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Leicester City at Rotherham United
Leicester City at Rotherham United

Although Barnes did not play alongside King as often as the other graduates, he says the Wales international helped him off the field at Belvoir Drive.

Harvey Barnes said: "My first impressions were just what a nice guy he was. When I was just starting to step up into the first team, he was a massive help. Not just for me, but for all the young players coming up. He really helped us to transition and to settle in. He’s an excellent professional, but such a nice guy off the pitch as well. It’s not always easy when you make that first step into the first team. It’s not just the football side of things, it’s all of it. He’d been through that himself and was a really big help to all of us off the pitch. He’s a funny guy too. He’s always having a laugh around the training ground and making people smile. I think that’s a part of him that makes him great on and off the pitch. Watching him have the success he had was great, winning all the titles that he did. He’s been such a big part of the team throughout all those years and it’s a credit to him. He should be right up there among the Leicester City greats. There’s not many other players who have won what he has at Leicester. He’s had such a successful career. I just want to say thank you, really. You’ve been a massive help to me. Hopefully I can go on to recreate that later on in my career. All the best in the future, Kingy."

Feature

Thank You, Kingy!

A number of key figures in Leicester City's dressing room explain Andy King's immeasurable contribution to Leicester City in their own words.

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