Success City booklet

Links With The Past: 'Success City' Booklet

Club Historian John Hutchinson's Links with The Past takes a look at an official publication marking Leicester City’s achievement in reaching the 1961 FA Cup Final.
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In the Club’s archives there are many commemorative souvenir booklets marking various milestones in the Foxes' history. This ‘Success City’ booklet was an official publication to mark Leicester qualifying for the FA Cup Final against league champions Tottenham Hotspur in 1961.

It opened with an article written by manager Matt Gillies. He paid tribute to his young side which he had shaped and developed over the previous two seasons. They finished in the top six in the old First Division that season. The Lord Mayor, Councillor Dorothy Russell, also wrote to wish the team luck.

The bulk of the booklet contains page-long pen portraits, together with an action photograph, of each member of the squad.  

The players featured are captain Jimmy Walsh, goalkeeper Gordon Banks, full-backs Len Chalmers and Richie Norman, centre-halves Ian King and Tony Knapp, half-backs Colin Appleton, Frank McLintock and Ian White, and forwards Howard Riley, Ken Keyworth, Ken Leek, Albert Cheesebrough, Gordon Wills and Derek Hines. The reserve forward George Meek was also featured.

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Success City booklet
Success City booklet

The booklet included a colourful cover page.

A player missing from these pen pictures was reserve centre-forward Hugh McIlmoyle, who unexpectedly found himself playing in the final in place of leading goalscorer Ken Leek, who was dropped on the eve of the final for reasons which are still unclear.

The backroom staff featured in the booklet, in addition to Gillies, were his right-hand man Bert Johnson, trainer David Jones, physiotherapist Alex Dowdells, youth coach George Dewis, secretary Tom Maley, groundsman Bill Taylor and Club legend Arthur Chandler.

A photograph of the board of directors is also included. Each of the players, coaches, backroom staff and directors featured in the booklet have very interesting back stories which together could fill a book. The booklet is devoid of colour with one exception. On the centre-page spread, there is a photograph of the team entitled ‘City’s best for forty years.’

Although it is a black and white photograph, in keeping with all of the other photographs in the booklet, the shirts and of the players have been coloured blue, as has the picture’s title and parts of the Club’s fox and crop crest.

At Wembley, Leicester City were defeated 2-0 in the final, having played for most of the game, in the days before substitutes, with only 10 effective players, following a serious injury to right full-back Len Chalmers.

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