To commemorate Huth’s contribution, Club Historian John Hutchinson has picked out 10 iconic defensive partnerships that have been key for the Foxes in the past six decades.
John Sjoberg and Graham Cross
Defensive partners from 1965 to 1973
John Sjoberg and Graham Cross enjoyed eight seasons at the heart of Leicester City’s defence together, six of which were in England’s top flight. They were instrumental in the Club’s run to the 1969 FA Cup Final, which Sjoberg unfortunately missed due to injury. Cross, who also played first class cricket for Leicestershire CCC, made 599 appearances for the Foxes, while Sjoberg notched up 413.
Larry May and John O’Neill
Defensive partners from 1978 to 1983
The pairing of Larry May and John O’Neill proved vital in City’s return to the top tier in both 1980 and 1983. They were both FA Cup Semi-Finalists in the 1981/82 campaign, while O’Neill made 39 international appearances for Northern Ireland – only Andy King has earned more international caps while playing for Leicester City.
John O’Neill and Russell Osman
Defensive partners from 1985 to 1986
The Foxes were able to rely on O’Neill’s solidity once again during the 1985/86 season, this time with former England international Russell Osman, who was signed by Gordon Milne for £240,000 in July 1985. City finished 19th in the table, retaining their top-flight status in the process.
Russell Osman and Steve Walsh
Defensive partners from 1986 to 1988
In his first two seasons at Filbert Street, despite relegation in 1987, new signing Steve Walsh benefitted from playing alongside Russell Osman, before Osman’s move back to the top flight with Southampton in June 1988.
Steve Walsh and Tony James
Defensive partners from 1989 to 1991
Tony James. who played alongside Steve Walsh for two seasons at the heart of the City defence, was the Fans’ Player of the Year for 1990/91. James is best remembered for his vital goal against Oxford United in the last match of that season, as this prevented Leicester City dropping into the old Third Division.
Steve Walsh and Colin Hill
Defensive partners from 1992 to 1993
Northern Ireland international Colin Hill’s central defensive partnership with Steve Walsh began in the latter part of 1991/92, when City reached the Play-Off Final against Blackburn Rovers for a place in the new Premier League. The partnership continued throughout the following season, which ended with the Wembley Play-Off Final defeat against Glenn Hoddle’s Swindon. Hill was an ever-present that season and was also Player of the Year. This defensive partnership was broken by injury to both players the following season.
Steve Walsh, Spencer Prior and Matt Elliott
Defensive trio from 1996 to 1998
The defensive trio of Steve Walsh, Spencer Prior and Matt Elliott was hugely important to the Foxes between 1996 to 1998. They helped the Foxes win the League Cup in 1997 before they were part of the following season’s UEFA Cup campaign.
Steve Walsh, Matt Elliott and Gerry Taggart
Defensive trio from 1998 to 1999
With Gerry Taggart often accompanying Walsh and Elliott at the back in 1998/99, Leicester reached their second successive League Cup Final, only to be beaten by Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium. However, they had a successful campaign in England’s top tier, finishing 10th under Martin O’Neill.
Matt Elliott and Gerry Taggart
Defensive partners from 1999 to 2003
Taggart and Elliott’s defensive partnership went from strength-to-strength in 1999/00, as they helped City to win the League Cup for the second time in four years. Although Taggart missed the 2001/02 season through injury, the pair were key to the Club’s return to the Premier League in 2002/03.
Robert Huth and Wes Morgan
Defensive partners from 2014 to present
Robert Huth and Wes Morgan formed without doubt one of the greatest defensive pairings the Club has ever seen. Initially deployed as two thirds of a back three alongside Marcin Wasilewski during the Great Escape under Nigel Pearson in 2014/15, the pair formed the heart of a more orthodox back four under Claudio Ranieri, helping City to the Premier League title in 2016 before playing a major role in their run to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League the following season.
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