Leicester Citys success was written in a 120 yearold football prophecy
Leicester City Football Club’s (LCFC) monumental success in the Premier League was prophesised over 120 years ago - by Leicester fans in 1895.
Our University's Archives and Special Collections holds a wealth of information about Leicester Fosse Football Club, the forerunners of Leicester City Football Club, known to their supporters as ‘The Fossils’.
In an 1895 edition of The Wyvern, a rare Leicester-based Victorian periodical published between 1891 and 1906, a Leicester fan writing for The Wyvern under the name ‘Custodian’ prophesised Leicester’s success, saying:“It is really surprising to note what enormous strides the “socker” game has made in our town. Time was when it was utterly ignored and was actually sneered at by some folks. In fact, people would hardly venture five yards to witness a game, and it doesn’t seem so very long ago since the Fosse club was in its infancy, yet it is now almost in the front rank of English football.
“And don’t you forget that the club mean to advance still further, and will not be satisfied until the First Division is reached and a prominent position occupied thereon (let us hope the top).”
The Wyvern charts Fosse’s journey from a small non-league club, struggling to find a permanent ground and to attract decent crowds, to a high-performer in the Second Division of the Football League with an enthusiastic fan-base.
On Monday 16 May an open-top bus parade and ‘Vardy party’ in Victoria Park - adjacent to the University of Leicester - will mark the Foxes’ momentous achievement in becoming the champions of English football for the first time in the club’s 132 year history.
Margaret Maclean from the Special Collections said: “One thing that stands out for me from this brief account of the early days of Leicester Fosse is how important and enthusiastic and dedicated supporter-base is to success – and this has been something that Leicester has been fortunate enough to have over many years.
“And, of course, one more point stands out from all this, exemplified by ‘Custodian’s’ words. At the beginning of a new season, for the fans anything at all is possible. More often than not dreams are crushed after only the first couple of matches. But, very occasionally, they are realised.”
- Press release
- More information about the 100-year old football prophecy is available here
- A roundup of University of Leicester football-related content and academic expertise is available here
- More information about wyverns, from which The Wyvern took its name, is available in the East Midlands Oral History Archive at the University of Leicester website
Watch a video of University of Leicester geologists measuring ‘Vardyquakes’ produced by the sudden energy release by the elated Leicester fans when their team scored a goal at home matches: