Nick Blakely talks about the history that exists between Chelsea and Leicester City.
Although Leicester is not our primary rival like the Spurs, there is a history of animosity between the two clubs. Some Leicester fans would say we are their biggest rival in the Premier League because all their Midland rivals are in the Championship. The majority of fans and supporters around the world will not even know Leicester is a rival at all. Even in saying that, there is no doubt that they don’t like us, and we don’t like them.
The rivalry began a long time ago in the 70’s when Chelsea were in the Second Division. It became such an intense fixture because both clubs were fighting for promotion into the Top Flight. The most notorious fixture came on Boxing Day in 1979. The two sets of fans clashed, and Leicester went on to win the game. Leicester’s song, “Hark now hear the Leicester sing, the Chelsea ran away, and we will fight forevermore because of Boxing Day,” came as a result of this game.
During the 70’s and 80’s, hooliganism was a massive part of football in Britain. It also was a large part of our rivalry with Leicester. The notorious Chelsea Headhunters and the Leicester Baby Squad built a rivalry on the back of the competition on the pitch. The two firms have had many clashes over the years, but the aforementioned Boxing Day clash is the most well documented.
The rivalry has since become less meaningful as Chelsea has become the more successful of the two clubs. Chelsea has not been in the Championship since 1988, and Leicester has been a relatively up-and-down club since then. As a result, the antipathy between the two fan bases has been lost for the most part. Chelsea and Leicester City have had a few meaningful games over the years, such as our 5-2 victory over them in the FA Cup in 2012.
Our upcoming FA Cup quarter-final clash against Leicester will be crucial. It is our only realistic chance at silverware, and I for one would love to see us win it. However, we should not underestimate Leicester, because they are a tricky side to play. I know the fans and players will be up for this game. So let’s “All follow the Chelsea on to Victory!”
Written by Nick Blakely – @CFCNicholas