This 98-year-old leatherette playing-card holder was presented to a Leicester City Director by the Chairman of Leicester City Football Club in 1923.
The recipient of this item was William Herbert Squires.
Squires had been Chairman of Leicester Fosse between 1905 and 1911 and between 1915 and 1919. His signature can be found many times in the Directors’ Minutes from the Fosse era which are stored in the Club’s archive. He was one of the 10 founder Directors of the new Leicester City Football Club, which replaced the old Leicester Fosse Football Club in 1919.
The Chairman who gifted this leatherette holder to W.H.Squires was Montague John Rice.
Like Squires, Rice had also been a Fosse Director before becoming a founder Director of Leicester City Football Club in 1919.
He was Club President from 1919 to 1921 when he became Chairman following the early death of William Jennings who had presented the Leicester City team to King George V in an FA Cup match at Stamford Bridge in 1920.
Rice was a wealthy boot manufacturer whose factory was in Broad Street in Syston. Football boots made at the factory were sold all over the world.
Montague Rice and his son Arthur, who was also a Leicester City Director from 1921 until 1940, generously supported charities for old people and children in Leicestershire. They were also well known in Leicestershire bowling and cricket circles.
In 1934, the Rice family donated the locally famous Rice Bowl trophy to the Leicestershire Schools FA. Ever since then, primary schools have competed annually for this trophy.
This is not the only 1923 leatherette playing-card holder in existence. We were recently contacted by Leicester City fan Tim Toon who possesses another one of these holders which had been presented to another founder Director of Leicester City called Harry Linney. Tim also has the playing cards that came with it.
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