It hurts, friends. It hurts.
I think for newer and younger fans it can be difficult to understand the strength of feeling for Kingy. He stopped being a central figure (on the pitch) before we hit out peak, and hasn’t been there for years now.
In reply I’d simply say that in my time as a fan, Andy King is the greatest player to wear blue and white. Not the best, or the most talented, but great nonetheless.
Trust me, I can explain.
He was here when were sh*t
It feels like a very long time ago now, and in football terms it was, but Leicester City were not in good shape when Kingy was breaking through.
In 2008, the Foxes were relegated to the third tier of English football for the first time in their 124 year history.
I’m so grateful to Andy. He is the only player still here that was with the club when King Power took over 10 years ago. He’s been through everything. He’s been a massive part of what the club has achieved in that time - chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha
It was grim watching for the dwindling fans who could stomach it. The only light in the darkness was the emergence of young midfielder we could pin all our hopes on.
Few live up to that sort of expectation, but Kingy certainly did and soon we were on our way back up.
He’s played through 10 different managers (plus as many interim managers again) and always put in the same effort. We’ve been a club in desperate need of stability and he brought that in spades.
A star on the pitch
Much of the praise you’ll hear heaped onto the no. 10 in coming days will revolve around his off the pitch traits. His humble, hardworking nature and his great story rising through the leagues.
Let’s not forget that he was the star for a while between the lines as well.
After helping us back into the Championship in 08-09, King dominated over the next two seasons, scoring 24 goals from midfield.
He scooped back-to-back players’ player of the year awards and made the PFA Championship team of the year.
He’d go on to play in the Premier League, Champions League even the semi final of Euro 2016, never looking out of place.
He won it all
Six players have won each of England’s top three divisions. Five of them did it with Ipswich Town in 1962. And then there’s the King.
He’s truly done it all here. 379 games, 62 goals, 50 international caps, 3 different league titles.
Andy has been a fundamental part of Leicester City for 16 years and I think we all hope that the club finds some capacity to keep him around, once he’s finished playing.
He’s even been involved in some of the team’s biggest moments in more recent years.
My abiding memory will be his goal against Everton at the end of that miraculous season. It was the perfect capstone on a day of celebration.
I’m sure we all have our own lasting Kingy memories and I’d love to hear yours.