Johnny Duncan

Links With The Past: A Fan’s 1929 Notebook

Club Historian John Hutchinson's Links With The Past series continues with look at a fragile 91 year-old item from the Club’s document archive.
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The document archive at Leicester City is an invaluable resource providing an amazing range of information which reveals fascinating insights into the Club’s history.

This archive, some of which dates back well over 100 years, includes a wide range of primary sources. It contains newspapers, magazines, directors’ minutes, financial accounts, contracts, correspondence, photographs, programmes, fans’ scrapbooks and much else besides. Some of these items are in a very fragile state and are being digitised.

Contained within the archive is a series of small notebooks compiled by an anonymous fan nearly 100 years ago. Each notebook covers a different season in the 1920s. They provide a record of every match played at the time by Leicester City.

The pages featured here come from the notebook for 1928/29. On the face of it, they look pretty unremarkable, but they record a very significant afternoon in Leicester City’s history. They show that, in the penultimate game of that season, which was a fixture at Huddersfield Town, the team lost the chance of becoming champions of the old First Division.

The page illustrated contains newspaper cuttings detailing the teams selected for the match and records that the scorers in a 1-1 draw were Leicester’s captain Johnny Duncan (pictured, above) with George Brown scoring for the home side.  

The handwritten note at the foot of the page indicates the significance of this result, stating: "Te result put City out of winning the championship and made Huddersfield safe'.

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Fan book
Fan book

A fascinating insight into a key moment in the Club's history through the eyes of one supporter.

The situation before the game against relegation-fighting Huddersfield was that, with two games to go, City were in second place with 48 points, three points behind Sheffield Wednesday.  

In those days, two points were awarded for a win, so if Leicester won their last two games and achieved a total of 52 points, they had a chance of overhauling Wednesday to win the title.

Leicester were on course to achieve this in the game at Huddersfield. With nine minutes to go, they were leading 1-0 while Wednesday were losing 1-0 at home against Burnley.

Then, in the last nine minutes, it all changed. City conceded an equaliser and, four minutes later, Sheff Weds equalised in their game. The final results in both matches were 1-1 draws. 

The fan who compiled this notebook included a newspaper cutting of the old First Division table, reinforcing the fact that Wednesday, by gaining their 52nd point of the season, could not be overtaken by City on 49 points.

In the last match of the season, Sheffield Wednesday lost and Leicester City defeated FA Cup winners Bolton Wanderers 6-1 at Filbert Street. It was too late. The team fell one point short of winning the title. 

It would be another 87 years before Leicester City finally became champions of England.

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