Graham Cross

Remembering Graham Cross' City Career

To celebrate his 77th birthday on 15 November, takes a look back at the career of former City player and record appearance holder, Graham Cross.
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A hometown talent, Cross was born and grew up in the city of Leicester. Initially spotted playing for local side Enderby Town, he signed for the Foxes in 1959, making his senior debut for Matt Gillies' side in April 1961.

Cross marked his maiden appearance - a 3-2 win over Birmingham in the First Division - with a goal, just as he had done during his reserve team debut against Brighton, as a 15-year-old.

It would be the first of 29 league goals across his career, as he transitioned into a centre-half and right-half during his time at City, despite starting out as an inside forward.

As part of a career that spanned throughout the 1960s and 70s, he would go on to play for Chesterfield, Brighton & Hove Albion, Preston North End and Lincoln City in the lower divisions. Before retiring, he also enjoyed a spell as player-manager of Hinckley Athletic.

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Graham Cross
Graham Cross

Cross, pictured on the ball, was part of the City side that reached the 1963 FA Cup final, before losing to Manchester United.

But it was at Leicester that he really made his mark on the game, playing 599 times for the Club in all competitions, including 498 league matches over a period of 15 years.

He was part of a halcyon era of success for the Club, reaching two FA Cup finals, in 1963 and 1969, and two League Cup finals, getting his hands on a winners medal in 1964 before finishing as runners-up in the following season.

Leicester lost to both Manchester clubs in their FA Cup final appearances at Wembley, firstly 3-1 to United in 1963, before a 1-0 defeat to City six years later.

The League Cup success, meanwhile, came via a 4-3 aggregate win over Stoke City, back when the final was played over two legs, home and away. Chelsea then edged out City in the 1965 showpiece event, winning 3-2. 

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Leicester City 1971
Leicester City 1971

Leicester City returned to the top flight after winning the Second Division title in 1970/71.

Of his 16 seasons at the Club, only two were played outside the top flight. Following relegation from the First Division, Cross helped Leicester to bounce back at the second attempt, wining the Second Division title in 1970/71, as well as the 1971 Charity Shield.

In addition to his all-time record number of games for Leicester, Cross holds a series of other records for Club and country.

He is City's leading appearance maker in the first tier (414 games), as well as in the FA Cup (59 games) and jointly in the League Cup (40 games).

Cross has an international record for making the most England Under-23s appearances, although he never received a senior cap for his country.

Throughout his City career, Cross also played 83 first-class cricket matches for Leicestershire, as a right-handed batsman and a right-arm medium-fast bowler.

Leicester City Crest

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