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Looking back at Leicester City’s now defunct former home Filbert Street

Next up in our look at former homes of football clubs, it’s Filbert Street of Leicester City.

The club, which used to be called Leicester Fosse, moved to the ground in 1891 before they finally moved out in 2002 after 101 years.

The first game to be held at Filbert Street, previously known at Walnut Street, was a reserve game against Melton Swifts in 1891.

Leicester started out in the Midlands League before being elected to play in Division Two of the Football League 1894.

The reached the First Division in 1908 but went straight back down the following season.

After the First World War, Leicester Fosse folded due to financial difficulties, and were replaced new team Leicester City.

The 1924/25 season saw the club champions of the Second Division and stayed there for another 10 years.

In 1927, a new double decker stand was built on a ground that didn’t have much and because of this, a record attendance of 47,298 (although elsewhere it’s reported that the figure was 55,000) watched Leicester against Tottenham Hotspur in the Fifth Round FA Cup tie on 18 February 1928. Many also sat on the roof of the stand to see the game.

During the Second World War, the middle of the main stand was bombed by the Germans and then suffered a fire. In the got rebuilt with help ironically from the German POWs.

The club only just survived a council vote to terminate their lease in the late 1940s.

In 1957, floodlights were installed and was first used for their game against Borussia Dortmund.

Five years later, Leicester purchased the ground from the local council and then in 1971, the North and East sides were converted into seatings as Filbert Street was set to become an all-seater stadium.

The 1970s saw executive boxes added to the North Stand, a huge Polythene ‘air dome’ protected the pitch.

1990s now and there were talks of the club moving to a new stadium. A new stand was built as the Foxes had a great spell under Martin O’Neill.

In 1994, the Kop (last terraced area) was changing into to seating taking the capacity of the ground to 21,500, so that they were in agreement with the Taylor Report which required all Premier League and Division One teams to have an all-seater stadium.

Any future expansion plans would have been difficult so the club took to move elsewhere and Filbert Street was eventually sold and demolished in 2002.

A new 32,500 all-seater stadium was built, originally named The Walkers Stadium, and the first game it hosted was against Athletic Bilbao.


For more classic photos and many memories of the ground from supporters, click onto the next page.


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