John Elsom

John Elsom 1939-2023

Leicester City Football Club has been saddened to hear that former Chairman John Elsom has sadly passed away, aged 84.

John held a number of posts at Filbert Street between 1983 and 2002. Overseeing a crucial era as Chairman, he enjoyed on-field success during the managerial tenure of Martin O’Neill in the late 1990s, while also laying foundations for the future with the building of King Power Stadium. 

Born in Loughborough, John, who was the former Chairman and Managing Director of Page & Moy Travel Group, became a Vice-President of Leicester City in 1983 and then served as a Director from 1984 until 2002. He was Chairman of the Club from 1998 until 2002. During this period, the Foxes lifted the League Cup and participated in the UEFA Cup, the precursor to the UEFA Europa League.

He also served on the Board of the Football League and was a member of The Football Association Council, underlining his influence over the English game at the turn of the millennium.

When John joined the Board of Directors in 1984, Leicester City were in the old First Division under the management of Gordon Milne and then Bryan Hamilton. Relegated in 1987, the Club, when Brian Little was Manager, reached three First Division Play-Off Finals in succession for a place in the new Premier League, achieving this goal in 1994.

John was on the Board which appointed Martin O’Neill as Manager in 1996. The Northern Irishman’s arrival would turn into one of the most inspired decisions in the Club’s history. Promotion back to the Premier League was achieved the following May, before the Club went on to achieve four successive top-half finishes, as well as reaching three League Cup Finals. The Foxes won two of them, in 1997 and 2000, qualifying for Europe on both occasions.  

Behind the scenes, in 1997, Leicester City Football Club was floated on the Alternative Investment Market, becoming a PLC. Sir Rodney Walker became Chairman of the PLC in 1997 until 2002. 

Meanwhile, John became Chairman of the Football Club’s Board of Directors following its reconstruction in the summer of 1998. John was also heavily involved in the Club’s move to its new stadium in 2002, ending 111 years of history at Filbert Street. As Chair of the Stadium Development Committee, John was instrumental in the construction of the home we now call King Power Stadium, completing the project on-budget at £37M. It was a move which ultimately gave the Club a home worthy of the 21st century. John stood down as Chairman after the 2001/02 season. 

Later that year, he was co-opted onto the Board of Grimsby Town, until he retired from this role in August 2013, after which he was appointed Grimsby’s Club President. 

John’s tenure at Leicester City as Vice-President, Director and Chairman was an extremely significant time in the history of the Club and he will be remembered for his major contributions during those years. Leicester City Football Club’s thoughts are with John’s family and friends at this sad time. 




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