Stefan Oakes

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Stefan Oakes made his full league debut for Leicester in 1998, playing Chelsea. He had recovered from a broken leg incident and climbing his way through the academy doors and into the first team. His brother Scott had earlier made his debut, but moved on to play for clubs such as Luton and Sheff W, they are son’s of the Showaddywaddy guitarist Trevor Oakes.

Stefan remembers the day v. Chelsea as one of the best in life. He was a good passer of the ball, one who could also operate on the flank to the left and spray passes in, score a goal and be creative. He also describes the captain of Leicester City’s 1969 final team, David Nish as a pivotal inspiration as he was in charge of the youth while Stefan was progressing.

Martin O’Neill also had a key in Stefan’s career going forward, suffering from a terrible set back with that broken leg, but instead of axing Stefan, MON gave him a one year deal to be able to prove himself, this shows a human side with football that few might have recognized.

Before that game v. Chelsea, Stef had just been with the first team on the buss to learn his trade but failed to get on the bench and just being left in the stands for the 90 minutes, remembering his time making tea for Steve Walsh. He then later played against Newcastle United and Nottingham Forest among those.

Stefan Oakes was one of those four young players in MON’s set up going forward, with Stuart Wilson and Stuart Campbell also breaking through the following season, Emile Heskey had allready established himself from that crop of players in this age group.

Stefan’s best period at Leicester was in that 99/00 season playing 32 games in total and featuring in the EFL Cup final back then known as Worthington Cup, and we all remember that great 2-1 win v. Tranmere.

The change of managers stopped it really for Stefan at Leicester with Peter Taylor coming in and he fancied other players more, and that is a footballers life, you don’t really know what managers are like and how they build their teams. He did get more opportunities with Harry Bassett, but with Micky Adams the career at Leicester came to an end, firstly being loaned out to Crewe and later joining Walsall.

He then joined Notts County and played under former Leicester player Gary Mills, enjoyed his stay and did see some progress. Then after two seasons at Meadow Lane he made the switch to Wycombe Wanderers, made a total of 110 league appearances and by the age of 30, making a new switch to Lincoln City.

Stefan Oakes made a move to US Soccer, playing for New York City FC, in between periods in non-league with Tamworth again playing under the management of Gary Mills.

He later moved back to the US and today the Director of North Carolina FC Youth, training and coaching kids in that area to progress in soccer. He still follows Leicester and that will always be his team as one of very few local born players to make the grade and playing near 100 appearances in all competitions.

FACTFILE:

  • Full Name: Stefan Trevor Oakes
  • Position: Midfield
  • Date of Birth: 06.09.1978
  • Birthplace: Leicester
  • Nation: England
  • Caps / Goals: –
  • LCFC:
    • Period: 1998-2003
    • League Games / Goals: 64/2
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Sep Smith

Still many veteran followers notion fo the best all-round Leicester City player ever, Sep was unarguably one of the club’s most loyal servants, ending his magnificent twenty-year playing span with a brief spell as coach. As his name implies, the seventh son of a fanaticial footballing family (of whom five played at League level, with Tom also turning out for Leicester City, Joe moving from Leicester City reserves to Watford, and Jack and Willie both spending the bulk of lenghty careers at Portsmouth), Sep was an England Schoolboys star in 1926 (after playing in the North/South trial at Filbert Street that March) and clearly destined to join the top echelon of creative midfielders.

His early games as a Leicester City teenager were at inside-forward, where in exhibited a fair scoring prowess to supplement his cool distributive skills, but it was a right-half that Sep Smith truly made his mark throughout the club’s turbulent times fo the mid- and late 30s. His repute was national, yet his representative honours tally looks compartievely derisory: only one full cap (against Northern Ireland in 1935) one appearance as a second-half substitute in he 1935 Jubilee international against Scotland, and one game for the Football League, For club honours, too, Sep had to make do with only meagre reward for his inspirational captaincy, by way of Second Division championship medal in 1937.

He managed a Leicester City appearance record during WW2 that was second only to Billy Frame’s despite sitting out a year’s suspension, and was still holding together Leicester City’s postwar efforts as a veritable veteran of a pivot constantly taking younger players like Don Revie under his tutelary wing, aiding Johnny Duncan’s tactical preperations of City’s 1949 Wembley trip, and finally hanging up his boots after seeing the club’s Second Division future assured in the crucially drawn last match tussle at Cardiff.

Sep Smith did live a long life finally coming to an end in 2006, at the age of 94. A minute silent was held at the game v. Burnley that same year, then the oldest living England international and also holding that record among WW2 footballers.

He was seen as the one club man appearing 350 times for the club in the league, starting with his debut away to Huddersfield Town in 1929 and ending 20 years later in that game described above. Don Revie, England and Leeds manager to be, played alongside Smith at Leicester and got some great advice on the road, capped in four easy rules, “When not in position, get into position; never beat a man by dribbling if you can beat him more easily with a pass; it is not the man on the ball but the one running into position to take the pass who constitutes the danger; and the aim is to have a man spare in a passing move. Then this game would become easy.”

Wise words from a footballing icon at this special football club. Sep Smith might not be a player much noticed by todays younger fans, but still one to remember highly as a masterclass act among all of those great players to wear the shirt in blue.

FACTFILE:

  • Full Name: Septimus Charles Smith
  • Position: Midfield
  • Date of Birth: 15.03.1912
  • Birthplace: Whitburn
  • Nation: England
  • Caps / Goals: 1 / 0
  • LCFC:
    • Period: 1929-1949
    • League Games / Goals: 350/35
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Simon Grayson

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The first City skipper to gleefully raise a trophy at Wembley, Simon Grayson was acting captain on the day Derby were yanquished in the 1994 Play-Off Final, shortly before being named as the suppoerts choice for Player of the Year.

One of the trio of central defenders initially fielded for the game, yet also the man whose first time cross from the right led to Steve Walsh’s winning goal, Simon had previously starred in midfield and at right-back since his move from Leeds, and his dogged tenacity in each of those positions has been the most prominent feature of his Filbert Street game.

A useful anchorman in his early performances, which included the first Wembley Play-off encounter with Blackburn, he has subsequently settled to more overtly defensive roles, working hard to overcome occasional faults in technique and concentration, which were naturally mor eharsly exposed at Premiership level.

Simon, whose brother Paul was a Yorkshire county cricketer, made both his senior outings for Leeds (during 1987/88) while still a trainee, his £50.000 transfer to City came on the same day Ali Mouchlen moved ot Elland Road on loan.

In total he spent five seasons with Leicester City, been at this football club under the management of Brian Little, Mark McGhee and Martin O’Neill. He do have good memories of his time, but reflecting on a bus ride during a pre-season in Norway were he really had his heart ticking.

Simon added up 188 league games while with the club before being sold to Aston Villa in 1997, doing a new move to Blackburn Rovers two years later and from there to Blackpool where he also started his life as a manager.

He has stayed in management since then moving around at different clubs such as Huddersfield, Preston, Leeds and a return to Blackpool but at present doing his trade with Fleetwood.

He was seen as a bit of an expert taking clubs out League One and into the Championship as he managed that with the clubs mentioned above.

FACTFILE:

  • Full Name: Simon Nicholas Grayson
  • Position: Defender / Midfield
  • Date of Birth: 16.12.1969
  • Birthplace: Ripon
  • Nation: England
  • Caps / Goals: –
  • LCFC:
    • Period: 1992-1997
    • League Games / Goals: 188/4
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