Before the inception of the Premier League in 1992, the Club had a rich heritage in that department, with the likes of David Nish, Steve Whitworth and Dennis Rofe in action. Frank Sinclair, Steve Guppy and Marc Albrighton, too, have demonstrated their versatility by starring in wing-back roles.
Following confirmation that Bertrand will become Leicester’s third signing of the summer, on a free transfer, LCFC.com remembers some of the most iconic full-backs to represent the Foxes across the Premier League era…
Whitlow – A man for the big occasion
Full-back Mike Whitlow was a valuable figure under several managers at Filbert Street.
Signed from Leeds United in 1992 for £250,000, Mike Whitlow would go on to become the only player to star in all of City’s 12 play-off ties across the early years of the 1990s.
A forceful attacking presence as well as a sturdy defensive option, Whitlow featured under the reigns of managers Brian Little, Mark McGhee and Martin O’Neill at Filbert Street. The majority of his nine strikes for the Club, too, came from dead ball situations as the Cheshire-born full-back deployed his thunderous free-kick technique whenever required.
Cruelly, after being such a commanding figure in the First Division, both of his top-flight seasons in Leicester were curtailed by injury, but Foxes fans will recall his efforts fondly.
Grayson – A play-off winning captain
The first captain to ever lift a trophy for the Club at Wembley - Simon Grayson.
Not only did Simon Grayson become the first LCFC captain to celebrate promotion via the newly-introduced play-offs in 1994, that feat also enabled the former Leeds full-back to become the first skipper in the Club’s history to lift a trophy at Wembley Stadium.
It was in fact Grayson’s first-time cross from the right flank which led to Steve Walsh’s delirious winner against Derby County that day. Perfectly able to function in central midfield or defence, the Yorkshireman was a key figure across his five-year stay in the East Midlands.
After struggling along with his team-mates in the Club’s first-ever Premier League season in 1994/95, Grayson ended the 1996/97 campaign – now back in the top-flight – with the Foxes’ Player of the Season prize.
It was his headed goal which settled a tense League Cup last-four tie with Wimbledon as well and Grayson was on the pitch as City lifted the League Cup for the second time in their history in 1997.
Kåmark – Juninho’s shadow
Juninho was isolated as a major threat in the 1997 League Cup Final, but Pontus Kåmark controlled him throughout.
After ceremoniously signing for Mark McGhee’s Foxes on the pitch at Filbert Street before a defeat by Southend United, Pontus Kåmark remained with IFK until their Allsvenskan title win was complete after featuring for third-placed Sweden at the 1994 FIFA World Cup.
Just days after an impressive debut at West Bromwich Albion, the Swede was taken off on a stretcher in a League Cup clash with Bolton Wanderers with a ligament injury. He didn’t know it at the time, but the League Cup would come to bring immense joy after that early heartbreak.
Major knee surgery was again needed following another injury in his return to action, for the reserves, the following winter, but Martin O’Neill would quickly realise his importance to the 3-5-2 system which he elected to utilise with the Foxes. With a cool head in pressure situations and a neat playing style, Kåmark finally had his chance to shine in the late '90s and would earn a cult following among the Club’s supporters.
His performance in the 1997 League Cup Final at Wembley – and the replay at Hillsborough – would eventually go down in Foxes folklore as he effectively marshalled Juninho, allowing Leicester’s Steve Claridge to seal the victory in extra-time.
Simpson – A member of the Immortals
Danny Simpson toasts the greatest achievement in the history of Leicester City Football Club.
Originally brought to the Club by Nigel Pearson in 2014, Danny Simpson arrived having also earned promotion with Queens Park Rangers, although it was Leicester who lifted the Championship title, while Harry Redknapp’s R’s had to settle for play-off glory.
It would be fair to say that Simpson’s emergence in Leicester was gradual as Ritchie De Laet retained the right full-back berth for much of the 2014/15 great escape campaign. During the following season, however, new manager Claudio Ranieri would come to rely on City’s No.2 and entrust him with the position on a weekly basis as Leicester stunned the world.
Simpson became the perfect foil for the expressive Riyad Mahrez on the right flank, offering defensive solidity which allowed the Algerian wizard to wave his magic wand on the wing.
The former Manchester United full-back made 32 appearances in all competitions for the Foxes in 2015/16, helping the Foxes to – quite remarkably – win the Premier League title. In total, Simpson featured on 133 occasions for City, earning him a special place in the Club's recent history.
Fuchs – Fantastic Mr. Fox
Austrian left-back Christian Fuchs became a prominent figure in the Leicester team which took the world by storm in 2016.
Christian Fuchs is another hero of that magical season which ended with Leicester defying pre-season odds of 5,000/1 to sit atop of English football’s pyramid for the first-ever time.
With a name which literally translates from German into English as ‘Mr. Fox’, the then-Austria captain arrived with valuable experience having represented Schalke in the UEFA Champions League. Those heights were considered to be wildly beyond City’s reach, though, in 2015. Like Simpson, it took time for Fuchs to break into Ranieri’s starting XI, but once he did, there was no going back.
A laid-back, gregarious full-back with a proclivity for getting forward, it was Fuchs’ no-look pass which set up Jamie Vardy’s iconic, record-breaking '11-heaven' effort against Manchester United in November 2015.
After playing such a prominent role in that Premier League triumph, Fuchs remained a vital figure for the Club, starring in the UEFA Champions League and, more recently, in the UEFA Europa League also. A scorer of few, yet usually stunning goals, Fuchs made a total of 151 appearances for the Club, signing off with the glory of lifting the Emirates FA Cup in May 2021.
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