PUKAAR’S SPORTS REPORTER JOHN SINCLAIR SPEAKS TO LEICESTER CITY CLUB HISTORIAN JOHN HUTCHINSON ABOUT THE TEAM’S INCREDIBLE SEASON AND THEIR PROMOTION INTO THE PREMIER LEAGUE.
This year, fans watched with bated breath as their football team Leicester City went from strength to strength, with a record-breaking season that saw them lift the trophy and get promoted into the Premier League after a decade in the Championship.
John Hutchinson is the club historian and he’s a man who is more than happy with his work producing material for the matchday programmes as well as looking after various archives.
I met up with him just before the final game of the 2013/14 season when City beat Doncaster 1-0, giving the Foxes a Championship winning total of 102 points.
“It’s been an outstanding season,” John told me. “I’ve been following Leicester City for 54 years and I’ve witnessed several promotions, but without a doubt this has been the best and most enjoyable season that I’ve ever watched, and believe me I’ve seen a few good ones!”
When asked about the achievements of manager Nigel Pearson and his backroom staff, John was full of praise for the work that Pearson has done since returning from a spell at Premier League side Hull City: “Statistically he’s the most successful manager. In his two periods at the King Power Stadium he’s got over 50 per cent in terms of wins which is more than previous managers like Martin O’Neill, Brian Little and Jimmy Bloomfield.”
John is now getting into his stride: “Also if you think about his time in charge, he did a record-breaking season in League One, when they won the title; he then got to the Championship play-offs. In his second spell at the club they were back in the play-offs and last season they broke records again when they won the Championship title.”
As a man who likes his stats John was clearly delighted to see the club go through 21 league games without defeat, including nine successive wins.
So where does this year stand for John Hutchinson in the context of the club’s history? “I often thought the 1957 season stood out, as Arthur Rowley scored 44 goals, they got a record number of victories and they clinched the title, but although you might look back at that as the golden era this season has overshadowed it all.”
Promotion to the Premier League will mean bigger crowds as indeed it did when the King Power first opened its gates. “In those first seasons they were averaging 30,000-31,000 and one would hope that this will be replicated in 2014/15.”