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  • The name Tigers was first used by the Leicester Daily Post in 1895
  • The Welford Road stadium is the largest purpose-built club rugby ground in the United Kingdom.
  • Tigers won their first national trophy, the John Player Cup, in 1978/79

Origins of the Leicester ‘Tigers’

Leicester Football Club was formed on 3 August 1880 and in 1881 the Club joined the Midlands Counties Football Association. The name Tigers was first used by the Leicester Daily Post in 1895. In March 1892, a ten-year lease was signed for their new site, between Aylestone Road and Welford Road. Preparing the ground cost £1,100. It held 3,000 spectators and opened on 10 September 1892. The Welford Road stadium can now hold 25,849 people and is the largest purpose-built club rugby ground in the United Kingdom. 

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Herbert ‘Chalkie’ White. He became the Tigers’ coach in 1968

Three Significant Tigers

Tom Crumbie was secretary of the Tigers from 1895 for thirty-three years. After he died in 1928, the New Stand was renamed the Crumbie Stand. In 1968 Herbert ‘Chalkie’ White was appointed as Tigers’ coach. He expected a lot from the players and his style influenced them for many years. Martin Johnson first played for Tigers in 1989 and was first captain in 1995. He was captain of the England team who won the 2003 Rugby World Cup.

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Tigers winning a match against London Scottish in April 1981

National and International Success

Tigers won their first national trophy, the John Player Cup, in 1978/79. Between 1993 and 2002 they won nine trophies in ten years. They won the 1997 Pilkington Cup and four consecutive Premiership Rugby titles as well as the Heineken Cup in 2001 and 2002. Since 2004 Tigers have been a finalist in the Rugby Premiership nine times, winning on four occasions.

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Roman Leicester

(47- 500) A military fort was erected, attracting traders and a growing civilian community to Leicester (known as Ratae Corieltauvorum to the Romans). The town steadily grew throughout the reign of the Romans.

Tudor & Stuart Leicester

(1500 – 1700) The wool trade flourished in Leicester with one local, a former mayor named William Wigston, making his fortune. During the English Civil War a bloody battle was fought as the forces of King Charles I laid siege to the town.

Georgian Leicester

(1700 – 1837) The knitting industry had really stared to take hold and Leicester was fast becoming the main centre of hosiery manufacture in Britain. This new prosperity was reflected throughout the town with broader, paved streets lined with elegant brick buildings and genteel residences.

Victorian Leicester

(1837 – 1901) The industrial revolution had a huge effect on Leicester resulting in the population growing from 40,000 to 212,000 during this period. Many of Leicester's most iconic buildings were erected during this time as wealthy Victorians made their mark on the town.

Edwardian Leicester

(1901 – 1910) Electric trams came to the streets of Leicester and increased literacy among the citizens led to many becoming politicised. The famous 1905 ‘March of the Unemployed to London’ left from Leicester market when 30,000 people came to witness the historic event.

Modern Leicester

(1973 – present day) Industry was still thriving in the city during the 1970s, with the work opportunities attracting many immigrants from all over the world. While industry has declined in recent years, excellent transport links have made Leicester an attractive centre for many businesses. The City now has much to be proud of including its sporting achievements and the richness of its cultural heritage and diversity.

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Leisure & Entertainment


Since opening, Curve has become a major producing theatre, creating critically acclaimed shows including Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard (2017), Legally Blonde (2016) and Purva Naresh’s Pink Sari Revolution (2017).

Guild Hall Colton Street

The Guild Hall was opened in 1909 by the Leicester Guild of the Crippled to provide a social centre for people with physical disabilities. As well as being “beautiful and commodious”, this Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau style building was very practical, being an early example of a structure that had been purposely designed to be fully accessible.

The Little Theatre

Many actors have appeared here over the years including the playwright John (Joe) Orton in Shakespeare´s Richard III (1948). Undoubtedly the most famous is Richard Attenborough (1923-2014) who made his acting debut at The Little Theatre playing Lucius in Shakespeare´s Julius Caesar in 1937

Abbey Park Buildings

Local architect James Tait designed the park’s pavilion and lodges. The lodges at the Abbey Park Road entrance were built in 1881. The Grade II Slater Street lodge is built in the Tudor style.

Haymarket Theatre

Built as part of the wider Haymarket Shopping Centre scheme, the Haymarket Theatre was the home for professional theatre in Leicester from 1973 until it closed in 2007. Located opposite the site of the old Victorian Palace Theatre on Belgrave Gate, it has built a fine legacy of productions, directors and performers over the years.

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