Matt Piper

Inside The Dressing Room: Piper On Cleaning Boots & Scoring At Filbert Street

Locally-born former midfielder Matt Piper is the latest ex-Leicester City star to speak to LCFC Radio's new Inside The Dressing Room podcast, recalling his highlights for the Foxes.
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Piper, an Academy graduate at Belvoir Drive, emerged through the youth ranks to star in the 2001/02 season and score the last-ever goal at Filbert Street, the Club's home for 111 years.

Speaking to LCFC Radio presenter Dan Bates this summer, Piper remembers his career, which was cruelly cut short by injury, especially his time as a Fox.

Inside The Dressing Room is available now - for free - on LCFC.com, or on all of your regular sources for podcasts and has previously featured the likes of Matt Elliott, Iwan Roberts and Tony Cottee.

Emulating Heskey & Joachim

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Matt Piper
Matt Piper

Piper emerged through the Academy to play for Leicester CIty's first team.

Matt Piper said: "It was different times. It wasn’t the academy system we’re used to now, with unbelievable facilities and superstar players in the first team. They were superstars to me, of course. I’d watched Emile [Heskey] climb through the ranks as he was a little bit older than me. I remember hearing stories about him scoring all six goals in a 6-0 win for the Under-15s! It was so good for me having players like Emile – and Julian Joachim – to try and emulate."

Leicester City idols

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Matt Heath and Matt Piper
Matt Heath and Matt Piper

Matt was among several promising youngsters to break through the youth ranks.

Matt Piper said: "I was about nine or 10 when I started to really take it seriously. Emile was the quietest person you’d ever seen in your life and I was the same at that time. I would usually sit quietly in the corner and be looking up to them! One player I remember talking to around that time is a player some Leicester fans may remember, a guy called Neil Lewis. They were all really nice people, who give you so much time, and they still are today in the media side of things."

A troublesome boot boy

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Pegguy Arphexad
Pegguy Arphexad

Pegguy Arphexad was renowned as a penalty specialist at Filbert Street.

Matt Piper said: "I was Emile’s boot boy and I’d started to become more outgoing by the time I hit 16 or 17. When I signed a full-time contract at the Football Club, you were given two players to look after with their boots and stuff. Emile was one and the other was Pegguy Arphexad, the goalkeeper. Anyone that knows me now, they know I’m always late for everything – and Emile and Pegguy got fines because I hadn’t cleaned their boots in time!"

A daunting Foxes debut

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Matt Piper
Matt Piper

Matt's debut at Leicester was a 6-0 League Cup loss to Leeds United in the League Cup in 2001.

Matt Piper said: "On my debut against Leeds, I just concentrated on my own game. Luckily, I was against Ian Harte, who was a great player, technically a wonderful left-back, but he wasn’t blessed with speed. As my outstanding attribute was speed, every time I got the ball, I felt like Forrest Gump that night! I just used to kick it by him in straight lines and run past him. Leeds was littered with talent back then and it wasn’t the best of nights for us as a team!"

Antics at the training ground

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Robbie Savage
Robbie Savage

Robbie Savage was both an architect and the victim of training ground pranks.

Matt Piper said: "Sav (Robbie Savage) would come to the training ground in a yellow Ferrari or a bright green Lamborghini and Parks (Garry Parker) used to talk to the groundsman to make sure the sprinklers were pointed straight at Robbie’s car, so the whole water system was flying into the open-top roof! By the time Sav got out to it, it’d be like a swimming pool! Or Parks would also get Sav’s keys out his pocket and move the car into Martin O’Neill’s parking spot! He’d come in and he’d find a bright green Ferrari with ‘SAV 8’ on the back. He used to go nuts! Sav used to do similar to other people, so when someone got him back, it was funny."

Adams' motivational powers

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Micky Adams
Micky Adams

Piper credits Micky Adams for his team talk ahead of Leicester's final game at Filbert Street.

Matt Piper said: "I remember Micky Adams’ team talk before Spurs, the last-ever game at Filbert Street. As players, we didn’t know what the crowd was going to be like that day. We’d been relegated, but Micky spoke about playing with freedom. The speech he gave us that day was about how the ground had been standing for 100 years and not going out with a loss. Micky went into such detail, he started to name some of the players that had graced the pitch over the years, right back to Birch’s day and before that. It really got to me. I know I scored the winner, but part of it was down to that rousing speech he gave ahead of the game."

A moment in history

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Matt Piper
Matt Piper

Matt scored the last-ever competitive goal at Filbert Street in a 2-1 win over Spurs.

Matt Piper said: "I look back with so much pride about the fact that it was a young Leicester lad that scored the last-ever goal there. It means so much to me and it has to be top of the list of memorable moments for me. I didn’t really put that much onus on it at the time. It was more about celebrating my first goal for Leicester. That’s all my friends and people close to me talked about, my first Premier League goals. It’s only years later, especially when you didn’t have a long career because of injuries, that you look for those special moments. You talk about them a lot more too! That stadium did mean a lot to the people that went to watch Leicester over the years, so to score the last goal there was brilliant."

Podcast

Inside The Dressing Room: Episode 5 - Matt Piper

The man that scored Leicester City's final goal at Filbert Street joins Dan Bates to talk through his Foxes career.

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