Welcome to Fosse Posse on SBNation’s Jersey Week. “Jersey,” in this instance, refers to the club’s shirt, not to the channel isle and birthplace of Nigel Mansell. I’m not going to try to rate the best and worst of Leicester City’s shirts because I have no fashion sense whatsoever.
I do, however, have twenty or so Leicester City home shirts in my collection. I’ve stuck with the home shirts because, in these United States, I want to represent my club and the odds of anyone recognizing a Leicester shirt in any color but our signature blue are slim indeed.
I love all of them, but, like most parents, I love some more than others. The post-Walker’s era was particularly grim. We went through a period of circle collars, heavy materials, and uninspired designs. I own ‘em all, but I’d by lying if I said I got them out of the closet with any regularity.
So, instead of trying to rank the “best” shirts, I’m going to give you my entirely subjective list of the shirts I’m most proud to wear. Some of them are sentimental favorites, some of them are brilliant designs, and there might be one or two that are both. Without any further delay, here’s we go!
5. 2013-14 League Championship
This was the first Leicester shirt on which I had a name printed on the back. It was, of course, Andy King’s #10. Not only was this a glorious season, steamrolling the league championship, but it’s a pretty smart shirt as well.* The stripes on front of the collar look very continental to me.
*If memory serves, Alan Smith was constantly trying to compare our slick style of play to that of a reasonably well-known Catalan club, coming up with portmanteaus like “Leicesterlona” and “Barca City”. I kind of hope my memory is wrong.
4. 2016-17 Premier League
You probably know this one:
Pay special attention to the color of the patches on the sleeves, or the text on the scarf. It wasn’t the best year we’ve ever had, but it’s a very, very meaningful shirt. This too, is a gorgeous shirt with the little mini-collar the subtle striping. Of course, it looks better on the captain himself:
To my everlasting shame, I never got the white pinstripe away Champions League shirt with Albrighton’s #11 on the back. One of these days...
3. 2007-2009 League One
I’ll be honest: I was a little bitter about this one at the time. If you think Leicester City had no presence in the U.S. in 2007, they were absolutely famous compared to Topps Tiles. MK Dons had Marshall amplifiers on their shirt. Hinckley United had Triumph motorcycles, and we had Topps Tiles.
I’ve grown to love this shirt and wear it in stubborn pride. It even looks very “League One”, doesn’t it? It’s an “I love Leicester even through thick and thin” thing. It’s easy to love the Foxes when we’re home to Valencia in the Champions League, but don’t forget those away days at Cheltenham Town. *
*We won 4-0 with goals from Matty Fryatt, Steve Howard, Matt Oakley, and Tom Cleverley, in case you were wondering.
2. 2015-16 Premier League
After getting Andy King and Jeff Schlupp shirts in 2013 and 2014, I went big in 2015: Jamie Vardy. That turned out to be a pretty good year. I’m not especially superstitious, but when we need a win, I wear this shirt every time. So... maybe I am superstitious.
It’s not the most attractive shirt we’ve ever worn, but it’s a special one. It’s also, for reasons I struggle to describe, the most comfortable of the lot (some of those early-2000s Alliance and Leicester or LG sponsored shirts were awful).
1. 1998-2000 Premier League
Why this one? Well, it was the first Leicester shirt I bought, so there’s a great deal of sentimental weight behind it. It was the shirt of Steve Guppy and Muzzy Izzet and Matt Elliott and Robbie Savage and Neil Lennon and Emile Heskey and... you get the idea. My first Leicester heroes wore this shirt.
But, honestly? It’s a spectacular shirt. The flocked sponsor’s logo is a nightmare to wash, but it looks great. The piping is perfect. Even the “Fox Leisure” tag, since we didn’t have a proper shirt manufacturer, was excellent. And the collars... oh, look at those big, wonderful collars. This is just a fantastic shirt.
Not to mention, it can make anyone look good. You can tell this is an old photo by that hairline I’ll never come close to matching again. Unless, of course, I go the Jurgen Klopp hair-plug route, so... never.
That’s my say. Which Leicester City shirt is your favorite? Am I being too harsh to the Alliance and Leicester shirts with their awful combination of flocking and stickers? Let us know in the comments.