Links With The Past: Foxes Fan's 1961 FA Cup Rattle

Ahead of Leicester City's Emirates FA Cup Semi-Final tie against Southampton at Wembley later this month, Club Historian John Hutchinson looks back to the Club's appearance in the showpiece back in 1961.
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Wooden football rattles were a common sight at football grounds for much of the 20th century. When fans held the rattles by the handle and rotated them above their heads, the noise they created was deafening.

Rattles were banned in the 1970s because fans swinging these solid wooden rattles on the tightly packed terraces ran the risk of injuring other fans.

They had originally been used in the trenches in the First World War to warn of gas attacks. They were also used in Britain by Air Raid Precaution (ARP) wardens in the Second World War to give warning of air raids.

Once hostilities had ceased, football fans frequently customised these rattles by hand-painting them in their club’s colours. The rattle illustrated here was customised by a Leicester City fan for use at the FA Cup Final against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley in 1961.

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The names of several of Leicester City's starting players feature on this rattle.

The names of eight of the Leicester City team were painted onto the two sides of the rattle.

The players named on one side were centre-half Ian King, outside-right Howard Riley, captain and inside-forward Jimmy Walsh, left half-back Colin Appleton and goalkeeper Gordon Banks. The names of forwards Hugh McIlmoyle and Ken Keyworth, together with right half-back Frank McLintock, appear on the other side. The other team members were full-backs Len Chalmers, Richie Norman and forward Albert Cheesebrough. There were no substitutes.

The rattle must have been customised for the cup final not long before the match because McIlmoyle’s surprise selection in place of the mysteriously dropped star centre-forward Ken Leek was only announced on the day before the fixture.

There were 100,000 fans, many with rattles, at Wembley for this cup final. They witnessed Leicester City gallantly lose 2-0 having played most of the game with only 10 fit men.

This iconic rattle is featured on a t-shirt in the Supporter Classics range, available now, HERE.

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