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1919: Hodge takes charge in new dawn for Leicester

This week in Leicester City’s history looks back nearly a century ago.

Leicester City’s first manager

We here at Fosse Posse love to bring you the latest news and opinions on our great football club, which we all love, Leicester City. But we also like to reminisce and look through blue tinted glasses at how our team have come through the last 133 years.

We’ll delve way back and highlight the likes of Arthur Chandler, Frankie Wortho and others, as well as Cup Finals, landmark achievements and moments that have just filled us with joy (and sometimes despair)!

This week we’re going to take you back, way way back to where is all began, well as a team called Leicester City.

For 25 years the team based in Leicester were known as Leicester Fosse and had spent the majority of that time floating around Division 2 (with a brief visit to top flight in 1908/09).

However, in 1919 Leicester was awarded City status by King George V and Queen Mary and so the club decided to change their name from Fosse to Leicester City.

It was all change now at Filbert Street as well as the name change they also appointed a new manager in charge of team affairs, Scotsman Peter Hodge.

Born in Dunfermline, Hodge had no playing history at a professional level but had been refereeing in the lower reaches of the Scottish League before taking over at Dunfermline Juniors then Raith Rovers.

He then took over Stoke City in 1912 but only for a season due to the outbreak of World War One.

He then returned to manage Raith Rovers in 1916 until Leicester came calling in September 1919, in which become a match made in heaven for him and us.

Hodge slowly transformed his team, and after several season finishing in mid-table of Division 2, the 1922/23 season saw them pushing for promotion and even the title on the last day of the season.

All tied on 51 points, City needed a win against Bury (who they had beaten at home the week before) to gain promotion, while West Ham and Notts County played each other for the chance to go up.

Notts County beat West Ham to take their place but City fluffed their lines and lost 2-0 which meant they finished 3rd and failed to go up on goal difference.

Hodge had turned City into a hard team to beat but goals we’re the scarce commodity in the team and the start of 1923/24 season saw that addressed.

Arthur Chandler was signed from Queens Park Rangers, who was to become a City Legend with his goal scoring exploits, linking up with another new signing that season Hugh Adcock.

Another mid-table finish that season was disappointing but that would soon be turned around as Hodge pioneered the first ever championship win for the foxes in 1924/25.

They secured promotion this time with a 1-0 win in the penultimate game at home to Bradford before securing the title with stylish 4-0 over Stockport County.

Hodge helped keep City up in the top flight of the Football League after a poor start but shocked the club by then jumping ship to manage second division Manchester City in May 1926.

However Peter Hodge would then return just over 5 years later after City had some decent success under Willie Orr (finishing 2nd and 3rd during this period) before Orr resigned.

Hodge was quickly approached and was welcomed back with open arms to Filbert Street in 1932.

The team was struggling to compete now and 3 victories in their last 3 games at the end of 1932/3 season saw the foxes stay up by the skin of their teeth.

A similar story occurred the next season but 17th place was achieved before Peter became ill in May 1934.

Peter sadly never recovered and died in Perth Infirmary in August 1934.

However, Peter Hodge’s legacy lives on and as one of only a few to manage the club twice, he also has the honour of signing some of the legends we know and love now such as Chandler and Johnny Duncan as well as being the first manager to win a Championship for Leicester City.

Still to come, we have the story of how Peter Taylor somehow got us to the top of the Premiership in 2000 and the game which saw 2 hat-tricks for City legends Lineker and Lynex.

If you want us to highlight anything in this series, feel free to leave a comment below and we’ll be more than happy to oblige.