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It is the first time that the English football club Leicester City will be taking part in the international U19 football tournament at the GESA sports arena in Altstätten. The city: Leicester is one of the oldest cities in England and lies on the river Soar in the East Midlands: moreover, the city is the traditional administrative centre of the County of Leicestershire in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and is situated at the edge of the English National Forest. The main industries of the City of around 330000 inhabitants include the production of foodstuffs, knitwear, shoes and embroidered goods as well as machinery. At the heart of the city stands the clock tower which can be found at the junction of five streets which lead into the city. Two of these streets are entirely pedestrian zones. In the immediate vicinity is the Leicester Market, the largest roofed market in Europe. In addition the university city boasts a cathedral as well as the St Mary de Castro church and the Jewry Wall. The city is able to look back over a history of almost 2000 years. One can assume that Leicester was founded by the Romans around the year 50 A.D. At that time the place was one of the most important commercial and military centres and one of the largest sites in Roman Britain. When the Romans left the city in the 5th century it was largely uninhabited before it was revitalized by the Anglo-Saxons. Part of the network of Roman streets can still be seen today. Following a conflict between the church and the nobility in the 11th century the city forfeited its municipal charter which was only granted again in 1919. The construction of the Grand Union Canal in the 1790s connecting Leicester with London and Birmingham heralded the start of a rapid industrialization. With the opening of the Leicester and Swannington Railway in 1832 rail transport reached Leicester. In 1840 the city was connected by the Midland Counties Railway to the national rail network – this was an additional boost for the industrial development of the city. Today Leicester is divided into four administrative districts. During the decades following the Second World War many immigrants from the Indian subcontinent came to Leicester and later during the early 1970s many people from Uganda, the majority of whom were also of Indian origin. The immigrant population constitute around 40 percent of the population of Leicester; this means that the city has one of the most ethnically diversified populations in the United Kingdom. The tenth largest city in England has produced some famous people. These include the tourist industry trailblazer Thomas Cook, the rock group Kasabian, the erstwhile football player Gary Lineker and the two-time snooker world champion Mark Selby. The club: During the 20th century the team see-sawed between the two highest divisions without achieving any significant successes. They reached the final of the FA Cup four times but without ever winning (losing 1949: 3:1 to Wolverhampton Wanderers, 1961: 2:0 to Tottenham Hotspur, 1963: 3:1 to Manchester United, 1969: 1:0 to Manchester City). In 1929 Leicester City were English league runners up. Sensationally in 2016 the foxes became English champions: in England this was one of the biggest football sensations ever. Most of the years at Leicester City were never as glamorous as the club's absolute highlight of 2016 however. It was only in 1919 that the foxes became Leicester City; previously the club had been known as Leicester Fosses. In 1908 the club was promoted to the First Division for the first time. To date, the years 1995 to 2001are regarded as the most successful era. In 1997 the club managed to achieve promotion to the Premier League under the legendary Marc O’Neill and one year later were able to qualify for the Europa League after an absence of 36 years. After only finishing in 13th place in the 200/01 season Leicester City were relegated the following year of 2002 with only five wins from 38 matches. After that the club only just avoided bankruptcy. A consortium of 55 shareholders headed by Gary Lineker was able to save the club. Through a subsequent takeover Milan Mandarić became the majority shareholder with slightly more than 75 percent of the shares. His investment plan was designed to get the club into the Premier League within the next three years. The new majority shareholder was mainly known for his large consumption of managers which ended with relegation to third class status in 2008. A new beacon of hope at the end of June 2008 was the erstwhile English defender Nigel Pearson. The hopes were justified: after only one year following relegation the foxes were promoted back into the second highest division. After only just missing out in the following years the year 2014 was sufficient for direct promotion to the Premier League. Hence the club was back where it belonged; namely in the highest English league. In the first season in the Premier League following promotion it looked very much as though relegation was on the cards again, since on the 30th match day the club was still trailing on the last place. After a series of seven wins and one draw from the last eight matches however they finished the season in 14th place thus avoiding relegation. What happened next is well known: following the appointment of Claudio Ranieri Leicester City sensationally won the championship. As far as the supporters are concerned the local rivals of Leicester City are the clubs of Nottingham Forest, Derby County and Coventry City (in this order). Friendship between supporters links Leicester to the oldest existing football club Notts County, the local rivals of Nottingham Forest. At an international level a number of Leicester supporters maintain friendly relations with supporters of the German Second Division club VfL Bochum.
Leicester City FC.
U19 Altstätten