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Thank you Andy King for perfectly embodying the football club I love

It was announced this week that Andy King, THE Andy King, would be leaving Leicester City Football Club after 16(!) years. More than 16 emotions followed.

Leicester City v West Ham United - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

In 2016 when I helped launch Fosse Posse, I took some time to think about how we should represent Leicester City Football Club in what was an already crowded blog space.

I wanted us to create an honest representation, with a strong editorial center. One that was fearless and determined, yet respectable and dependable. Something that could bring a smile the faces of Foxes fans worldwide.

You may be able to tell where I’m going with this.

Looking at the Foxes team at the time of our first post (2016, you may recall, was a pretty good year for Leicester), there was a certain lovable quality to the group. A rag tag collection of underdogs and cast offs who played hard and for each other. At the center of the squad that year, and for many years before it, was one Andrew Philip King.

Fearless. Determined. Respected. Dependable. Lovable to the nth degree.

For the last 16 years, Andy King has been Leicester City. He has represented everything that has been good and true about the club and was integral during the most chaotic and storybook period in its 136-year history.

Despite making an incredible 378 appearances, scoring a midfield record 62 goals, King hasn’t always been the central figure on the pitch for the Foxes. Not always the first choice on the team sheet, others were picked ahead of him and recruits were brought in to outright replace him. Yet our no.10 remained. King became omnipresent and integral to the moral fabric of the club, simply by being who he is.

Whenever King was interviewed, his soft and comforting tones spoke clearly and thoughtfully about being a Fox. His words came so naturally that it was as if he was explaining the inner workings of his very soul. Flawless in his understanding of the game and the team he played with, King became synonymous with Leicester through his intelligent explanations of the happenings on and off the pitch at the King Power.

His actions on the field mirrored this also. Unwavering work ethic and consistent involvement. Goal celebrations (dare I say all 62) were respectably understated. A broad, hearty smile and the excitement of his teammates. Nothing more. He never gloated, never was proving a point. Just performing and honoring the badge sewn on the shirt that covered his heart.

Leicester City v Everton - Premier League
This was a pretty fun game.
Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

I first wrote about my affection for the Welshman a year or so after Fosse Posse was formed. The same points I wrote then are applicable now…except it has somehow, inexplicably, excruciatingly become time for King to depart the King Power Stadium.

Spending the much of the last three seasons on loan, it’s been clear that King wasn’t in the plans for Brendan Rodgers currently or Claude Puel and Craig Shakespeare before him.

We all knew this was coming eventually…even in 2017. But thinking of King leaving the club was an impossibility. He is the heart of Leicester City and is undoubtedly one of the club’s legends. Revered by his teammates, both at City and at the national team level (Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale, a fellow Dragon, is a known admirer of our Andy), the impact King has had on the squads he’s been a part of is unquestionable.

Wales Training Session and Press Conference
Couple of best friends.
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Over my many years as a Foxes supporter, King has become one of my most beloved players. Not just because of his countless no.10-worthy performances, but because he clocked in with the verve and fearlessness required to be a Fox. And he did it for 16 straight years.

During which time, a fuss was never raised nor a controversy reported on. King has always done things the ‘right’ way and represented the club with aplomb not oft found in today’s game. That combination of physical and mental contributions is why he’ll go one as one of Leicester’s best ever players.

It will be very strange to not see King in Leicester colors. Hell, it’s still a bit strange seeing James Maddison in blue with the 1-0 on his back, even two seasons after he was given the fabled shirt number. Strange or not, at only 31, King has plenty of good playing years left and deserves a consistent place in a top English club.

So Andy, if you’re reading this (you obviously are), thank you. You have made being a Leicester City supporter something very special and I venture to say that the club, not the other way around, wouldn’t be what it is now without you.