A memorable day as former champions of Leicester comes together for special gathering in Knighton

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A group of former Leicester City players back in the days of the glorious 70’s, gathered at The Cradock Arms in Knighton, Leicester, for a special reunion. As a group they had not seen each other for 50 years or so, so the evening was one very special.

The people in this party rounds up years of Leicester City history, being part of the club at a special time. The core group were all in the team that won the Midlands Youth League.

Phil Weller have fond memories of his time at the club, often back to watch Leicester on occasions, as seen outside Keith Weller Launch. When Phil left Leicester, he had played in the youth and reserve side, but also been involved in and around the first team, on pre-season tours and occasional friendlies. Before leaving he had been on a loan spell at Northampton, and played his games in EFL, as very few can say they have, and moving into non-league action. We all know his brother and his fantastic years at Leicester, being a hero, an inspiration for all the younger players, fans and everyone that looked up to him.

Phil had some great company during the day at The Cradock Arms, celebrating with his friends. One in the party was goalkeeper Carl Jayes, always young, while on the books at Leicester. He stayed loyal to the club over a number of seasons, played just a handfull of league games, before he, in 1978, made a move to Northampton.

Phil Weller, Graham Capewell, Peter Jackson, Tom’s wife, Carl’s wife, Carl Jayes, Brendon Phillips, Tom Kilkelly (standing), Jimmy Blacklaw and Martin Capewell

Going through the pictures from the gathering and the team photo from the past, you will find Tom Kilkelly in there. He had taken a roundtrip of Europe in the weeks before, coming over from his home in Perth, Australia. Tom left Leicester in 1975, a few months after a spell on loan at Northampton. He is one to count in Australian Soccer, were he has been a top flight player and a known coach for years.

Tom Kilkelly at the King Power Stadium, 06.08.2023

Tom is still in Leicester and will attend the game today vs. Coventry. We wish him all the luck he can get, hopefully going back “down under” with three points in the bag.

Steve Sims and Peter Welsh were two others in the party that day, having good careers in football at different levels. Sims representing Leicester in the top flight as well as playing for the England U.21 team at the time, two of those games against Norway, both wins. Sims later had great years at Watford (two periods), Aston Villa and Notts County, adding up 376 league games in all. Peter Welsh, played 41 league games for Leicester, moving on to Hibernian, and during that time having loan spells at Alloa and Falkirk.

At the reunion you also had the Capewell twins, Graham and Martin. They are known in the local game, not only as youth players for Leicester, but also playing in non-league for Enderby Town. Jimmy Blacklaw, another champion, had taken the trip down from Aberdeen. All of them in the team group picture from the past. Adie Green were there too, he also known among the “nearly men”, playing on loan at Rochdale, and moving to play for Aldershot. In the room and on the pictures you will also notice Brendon Phillips. Born in Jamaica, joining Leicester in 1972. Phillips had a short stay at the club, moving to Peterborough in 1973, and later becoming a legendary figure in non-league football. Joe Waters, living in the US, was with them all on Facebook, as he could chat and follow his old friends during the gathering. Waters made it to the first team at Leicester, had brilliant run of games in the 1973/74 season, but shortly after that memorable season, a move to Grimsby happened, where he became a club legend. Waters later played indoor soccer in MISL. The doughters of John Sjoberg and Malcolm Manley also attended, as well as the wifes of some of the players and a few more friends.

In the picture of Champions, and not at the gathering, you have goalkeeper Gary Plumley and central defender Malcolm Shotton, who both had great careers in the game at Newport (GP) and Oxford (MS). Shotton was picked up from non league club Nuneaton, won the EFL Cup while at Manor Ground and in total played 263 league games for them. Gary Plumley had his best years at Newport, he was in the team playing Norwegian club Haugar as they appeared in the European Cup Winners Cup. Plumley added up 182 league games at the Welsh club, also having spells in Hong Kong, Hereford, Cardiff, Watford and Lincoln.

Tommy Williams, another in that team picture of the past. Played alongside Welsh and Sims in the Leicester first team. Born in Scotland, joining up as a teenager, and as we all know build a super career at the club, playing 241 league games, before moving to Birmingham and later Grimsby.

Leicester do have a grand history, some take part for long periods of time, others just have a short taste of it all. As a fan of this football club since 1972, you just look at this with fond memories and so happy to see them all being passionate about their time at LCFC.


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