LCFC & Southampton Shirts

Links With The Past: Filbert Way's First-Ever Premier League Game

These mementoes from the Club’s collection date from Leicester City’s first-ever Premier League game at Filbert Way – a 2-2 draw against Gordon Strachan’s Southampton on 16 August, 2003.

Two of the items are the shirts from this significant match, worn by City’s Paul Dickov and Southampton’s James Beattie, who both scored vital goals in the game.

The third item is the actual match ball. The game took place 15 months after the Foxes’ last game at Filbert Street. During the previous season (2002/03), which was the first at the new stadium, Micky Adams’ City team had been promoted back to the Premier League at the first attempt, despite the Club being in Administration for four months.

During the 2003 close season, Adams had signed 10 new players. Five of them – John Curtis, Ben Thatcher, Keith Gillespie, Riccardo Scimeca and Les Ferdinand – made their debuts in this game.

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Premier League ball
Premier League ball

This is the ball which the two sides played with on that day on Filbert Way.

On a sunny afternoon, the home crowd of 31,621 saw the Foxes make a dream start, scoring two goals in the first 10 minutes of the match. After five minutes, Dickov netted a penalty after Ferdinand had been brought down in the penalty area. Five minutes later, Ferdinand himself marked his debut by bravely heading in a second goal, suffering a head injury in the process.

The score was still 2-0 with 15 minutes to go until the end of the game, but then it was Southampton’s turn to score twice in five minutes. Substitute Kevin Phillips, making his debut for the Saints, blasted a 30-yard right footed shot past Ian Walker in the 75th minute.

Four minutes later, Phillips’ shot came back off the post for Beattie to ram home the equaliser. The final score was 2-2. It was a memorable afternoon, memories of which are evoked by these three items of memorabilia.

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