University staff celebrate Leicester's promotion

Posted by ap507 at May 02, 2014 11:45 AM |
Rise to Premier league seen as milestone for city
University staff  celebrate Leicester's promotion

Front left: Stephen Wood; Behind: Morag Clarke

Leicester City’s promotion to the Premier league, after a gap of 10 years, is a significant milestone for the City of Leicester. It will have positive repercussions for the economy and reputation of the city which grew by 100,000 in the past decade. Many staff at the university are dedicated fans and celebrated the club winning the championship, with a record haul of points, outside the Kingpower Stadium.

Front left: Stephen Wood; Behind: Morag Clarke

International students, in particular will welcome the opportunity to see live Premier League football. Students have over the years become loyal supporters of the club. George Goble, though from London, became a committed Leicester supporter when he studied geography between 1966 and 1969. He said: “I fell in love with Leicester City on my first weekend up at the University after watching a brilliant 3–0 win over Nottingham Forest on 8th October 1966. I wish I could say it’s been unbridled joy ever since but it hasn’t. But we've had our moments over the last 47 plus years and what a year this has been”

Professor Stephen Wood (School of Management), a life time supporter who saw his first game in 1955 and Tom Finney in his second game in the same year said, “Getting promoted with over a 100 points has been a great achievement, and it has been achieved playing some of the most exciting football we have seen since games like our 4–3 beating of Manchester United in 1963”.

Morag Clarke from Print Services has supported Leicester City since that dreadful season 68/69 when they not only lost to Manchester City in the FA Cup Final but also were relegated and recalls, “When we failed to put the ball out for a corner and it fell to their left winger, Neil Young, for the only goal of the game, I cried. Supporting LCFC is not for the fainthearted but this season has been amazing and I can’t wait for 0900 on 18th June when the fixture list will be out”

Robert Garner (Professor of Politics), who was at Wembley for the 1969 final when 9, reiterated that ‘this season has eclipsed some of the great years under managers such as Martin O’Neil and Jimmy Bloomfield; it has given me a wonderful opportunity to gloat at colleagues in my Department who choose to support clubs such as Manchester United’

Sarah Bulman, (Assessment Co-ordinator at the Medical School), having a “LCFC-mad father”, has supported Leicester since she was 11 and throughout her studies at the University of East Anglia and Oxford Brookes University, said, “the first thing I did when I moved back to Leicester last year was buy my season ticket and what a season to have moved back for.”

Emeritus Professor Eric Dunning remarked that “it is fitting that we have a top football team in a city whose university is a pioneer of the sociological study of sport”.

Kish Patel (Stores Administrator Cell Physiology & Pharmacology) for ten years a steward on match days saw at first hand the effects of the club going into administration in 2002 as colleagues were laid off, thinks that “things can only get better after this fantastic season; now the question is can we compete in the best league in the world and my answer is: Yes We Can”.