One of the most revered figures in Leicester’s history, Keith Weller played a pivotal role in Jimmy Bloomfield’s entertaining City sides in the 1970s. He was a gifted individualist blessed with natural talent. His attacking midfield and wing play demonstrated flair, dash and determination.
Skilful on the ball, he had lightning pace. With his smooth running style, he seemed to glide over the pitch. Given the freedom to express himself by Bloomfield, he could turn and spin defenders, leaving them floundering in his wake.
Oozing class, he had limitless stamina, and an explosive shot. He scored some spectacular goals, like a volley in his hat-trick against Liverpool in 1972 and his goal at Luton in 1974 when he beat four players before scoring in the top corner net with his unfavoured left foot.
Keith was signed by new manager Bloomfield from Chelsea in September 1971 to strengthen the newly-promoted Leicester City. Jon Sammels and Alan Birchenall arrived at roughly the same time.
Such was Keith’s impact, he replaced David Nish as Club captain towards the end of his first season, when he also won the Supporters’ Player of the Season award.
He won four England caps under Joe Mercer in 1974, playing alongside his Leicester City team-mates Peter Shilton and Frank Worthington.
Despite Keith’s refusal to turn out for the second half in the match against Ipswich Town in December 1974 and his subsequent transfer request, he remained a fans’ favourite until his departure from Filbert Street four years later.
Playing in Frank McLintock’s side in 1977/78, Keith was already suffering from a knee injury and he finished the season on loan to NASL side New England Tea Men.
The following season, Keith played in new manager Jock Wallace’s team for the first half of the season. Gary Lineker made his City debut wearing Weller’s No.7 shirt on 1 January, 1979. Five days later, famously wearing white tights as a protection against the cold weather, Keith scored his 43rd and last goal for the Foxes in a FA Cup match against Norwich City.
Keith’s final City game, a fortnight later, was against a Blackburn Rovers side containing Birchenall. The following month, Keith was transferred to New England Tea Men for £40,000.
He went on to play for and coach various teams in the USA, before settling near Seattle, where he sadly died of cancer in November 2004.
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