1962–63 Leicester City F.C. season

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Leicester City
1962–63 season
Chairman England W.S.G. Needham
Manager Scotland Matt Gillies
First Division 4th
FA Cup Runners-up
League Cup 2nd Round
Top goalscorer League:
Ken Keyworth (21)
All:
Ken Keyworth (27)
Average home league attendance 25,841
Home colours

The 1962–63 season was Leicester City's 58th season in the Football League and their 20th (non-consecutive) season in the first tier of English football. Under the management of Matt Gillies and starring players such as Gordon Banks, Frank McLintock and Dave Gibson, Leicester sensationally chased the double. Eventually falling short after losing 3-1 to Manchester United in the FA Cup Final and after gaining just one win from their final nine league games their title challenge collapsed and the Foxes eventually finished in a disappointing 4th position. The side from the 1962-63 season is often regarded as the finest side in Leicester City's post-war history.[1][2]

Overview[edit]

The horrendous winter of 1962/63 was the coldest winter of the 20th century in England and Wales[3] and saw a plethora of games being called off: there was not a single First Division match played in England during the month of January 1963 and Leicester did not play a single game between Boxing Day 1962 and 9 February 1963.

As games began to start being played again after the lengthy hiatus, Leicester, on the icy pitches, began to gain huge momentum and went on a lengthy winning and unbeaten run which saw them top the table with 9 (and later 5 games) to go and reach the 1963 FA Cup Final.[4] However, as injuries took hold and the ice began to melt Leicester's momentum faded and they ended up winning just 1 of their final 9 games and losing the FA Cup final to Manchester United despite being hot favourites, after a dour performance. Despite chasing the double during the icy period as the season came to a close the Foxes ended up in a disappointing 4th position and as FA Cup runners-up.[3]

Between 10 November 1962 and 8 April 1963, Leicester went on a run of 18 matches unbeaten, earning themselves the nickname "the ice kings" and creating a club record which stood for 46 years, until it was beaten in the 2008-09 season, though Leicester were in a division two tiers lower than that of the 1962-63 side. Their run of 7 consecutive league wins between 9 February 1963 and 9 March 1963 is also a joint club record, though on each of the three other occasions this has been matched, Leicester were in the second tier.

Players[edit]

Leicester's creative attack was built around the skillful playmaker Dave Gibson[3] who forged a deadly partnership on the left of Leicester's attack with Mike Stringfellow. Ken Keyworth was the club's centre forward and prolific goalscorer upfront, while Howard Riley provided balance on the right-wing. Much of the flexibility in the side came from the athleticism of Frank McLintock and Graham Cross, who regularly changed positions during games which Gillies once claimed "utterly confused [the] opposition" as opposition players would often be asked to mark "our [Leicester's] number eight, so they thought Cross was their man, when McLintock had replaced him" as "players hadn't got beyond thinking about numbers then."

In defence, Leicester forged a fearsome half-back line of McLintock, Ian King and club captain Colin Appleton with John Sjoberg and Richie Norman as full-backs and legendary goalkeeper Gordon Banks in goal.

Influence on English football[edit]

The Ice Kings were managed by Matt Gillies and his assistant Bert Johnson and were hugely influential in English football for their fluid "switch" and "whirl" systems and playing sequences of short probing passes to unlock defences and establishing the concept of positional flexibility and for their switching of positions, particularly of inside right and right-halfGraham Cross and Frank McLintock, upsetting the tradition 1-11 formations in England and confusing opposition players, who were used to thinking in terms of rigid formations in the English game. Johnson had brought back this system from watching the great Hungary and Austria sides of the 1950s and he and Gillies developed their own version of the systems with Leicester.[3]

Gillies later said it "confused opposition" as opposition players would often be asked to mark "our [Leicester's] number eight, so they thought Cross was their man, when McLintock had replaced him" as "players hadn't got beyond thinking about numbers then."[5]

Results[edit]

Football League First Division[edit]

  • Leicester City scores given first
Game Date Venue Opponents Score Scorers Points Position
1 18 August 1962 Away Fulham 1–2 Stringfellow 0 15th
2 22 August 1962 Home Sheffield Wednesday 3–3 Walsh, Stringfellow, Riley 1 13th
3 25 August 1962 Home Nottingham Forest 2–1 Stringfellow (2) 3 10th
4 29 August 1962 Away Sheffield Wednesday 3–0 Stringfellow (2), Walsh 5 6th
5 1 September 1962 Home Bolton Wanderers 4–1 Walsh (2), Cross, Gibson 7 4th
6 4 September 1962 Away Burnley 1–1 Gibson 8 5th
7 8 September 1962 Away Everton 2–3 Walsh, Riley 8 6th
8 15 September 1962 Home West Bromwich Albion 1–0 Cross 10 6th
9 19 September 1962 Home Burnley 3–3 Keyworth, McLintock, Riley 11 5th
10 22 September 1962 Away Arsenal 1–1 Keyworth 12 6th
11 29 September 1962 Home Birmingham City 3–0 Keyworth, Cheesebrough, O.G. 14 5th
12 6 October 1962 Away Ipswich Town 1–0 McLintock 16 5th
13 13 October 1962 Home Liverpool 3–0 Gibson, Cheesebrough, Cross 18 5th
14 20 October 1962 Away Blackburn Rovers 0–2 18 5th
15 27 October 1962 Home Sheffield United 2–0 Keyworth 2, Cross 20 4th
16 3 November 1962 Away Tottenham Hotspur 0–4 20 4th
17 10 November 1962 Home West Ham United 2–0 Stringfellow, McLintock 22 4th
18 17 November 1962 Away Manchester City 1–1 Keyworth 23 4th
19 24 November 1962 Home Blackpool 0–0 24 4th
20 1 December 1962 Away Wolverhampton Wanderers 3–1 Gibson (2), O.G. 26 4th
21 8 December 1962 Home Aston Villa 3–3 Gibson (2), Stringfellow 27 4th
22 15 December 1962 Home Fulham 2–3 Walsh, Stringfellow 27 4th
23 26 December 1962 Home Leyton Orient 5–1 Keyworth, Cheesebrough, Appleton, O.G. 29 3rd
24 9 February 1963 Home Arsenal 2–0 Keyworth (2) 31 3rd
25 12 February 1963 Home Everton 3–1 Keyworth, Stringfellow, Graham Cross 33 3rd
26 19 February 1963 Away Nottingham Forest 2–0 Keyworth (2) 35 2nd
27 23 February 1963 Home Ipswich Town 3–0 Stringfellow, Gibson, Riley 37 2nd
28 2 March 1963 Away Liverpool 2–0 Keyworth, Gibson 39 2nd
29 9 March 1963 Home Blackburn Rovers 2–0 Riley, Stringfellow 41 2nd
30 23 March 1963 Home Tottenham Hotspur 2–2 Stringfellow, Keyworth 42 2nd
31 26 March 1963 Away Shefiield United 0–0 43 2nd
32 3 April 1963 Away Leyton Orient 2–0 Stringfellow (2) 45 2nd
33 6 April 1963 Home Manchester City 2–0 Stringfellow (2) 47 2nd
34 8 April 1963 Away Blackpool 1–1 Keyworth 48 1st
35 13 April 1963 Away West Ham United 0–2 48 2nd
36 15 April 1963 Away Manchester United 2–2 Cross, Norman 49 2nd
37 16 April 1963 Home Manchester United 4–3 Heath, Keyworth (3) 51 1st
38 20 April 1963 Home Wolverhampton Wanderers 1–1 Keyworth 52 2nd
39 4 May 1963 Away West Bromwich Albion 1–2 Cross 52 3rd
40 11 May 1963 Away Bolton Wanderers 0–2 52 3rd
41 15 May 1963 Away Aston Villa 1–3 Keyworth 52 4th
42 18 May 1963 Away Birmingham City 2–3 Heath, McLintock 52 4th

FA Cup[edit]

  • Leicester City scores given first
Round Date Venue Opponents Score Scorers
3 8 January 1963 Away Grimsby Town 3–1 Gibson (2), Keyworth
4 30 January 1963 Home Ipswich Town 3–1 Cross, Keyworth (2)
5 16 March 1963 Away Leyton Orient 1–0 Keyworth (2)
6 30 March 1963 Away Norwich City 2–0 Stringfellow, Gibson
SF 27 April 1963 Neutral Liverpool 1–0 Stringfellow
Final 25 May 1963 Neutral Manchester United 1–3 Keyworth

Football League Cup[edit]

  • Leicester City scores given first
Round Date Venue Opponents Score Scorers
2 26 September 1962 Home Charlton Athletic 4–4 Gibson, Walsh(2), Riley
2rep. 2 October 1962 Away Charlton Athletic 1–2 Keyworth

First Division statistics[edit]

First Division table[edit]

Pos Club Pld W D L F A GA Pts
1 Everton 42 25 11 6 84 42 2.00 61
2 Tottenham Hotspur 42 23 9 10 111 62 1.79 55
3 Burnley 42 22 10 10 78 57 1.37 54
4 Leicester City 42 20 12 10 79 53 1.49 52
5 Wolverhampton Wanderers 42 20 10 12 93 65 1.43 50
6 Sheffield Wednesday 42 19 10 13 77 63 1.22 55

Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GA = Goal average; Pts = Points

Club statistics[edit]

All data from: Dave Smith and Paul Taylor, Of Fossils and Foxes: The Official Definitive History of Leicester City Football Club (2001) (ISBN 1-899538-21-6)

Appearances[edit]

Pos. Nat. Name Div 1 FAC LC Total
GK England Gordon Banks 38 6 2 46
GK England George Heyes 4 0 0 4
DF England Len Chalmers 23 0 2 25
DF England Richie Norman 42 6 2 50
DF Scotland Frank McLintock 42 6 2 50
DF Scotland Ian King 39 6 2 47
DF England Colin Appleton 40 6 2 48
DF England Graham Cross 29 6 2 37
DF Scotland John Sjoberg 20 6 0 26
MF England Howard Riley 32 6 2 40
MF Scotland Dave Gibson 36 6 2 44
MF Scotland Bill McDerment 2 0 0 2
MF England Terry Heath 5 0 0 5
FW England Mike Stringfellow 29 6 0 35
FW Scotland Jimmy Walsh 26 0 1 27
FW England Ken Keyworth 32 6 1 39
FW England Albert Cheesebrough 23 0 2 25

Starting XI[edit]

The following players have been named in the most starting line-ups. This line-up may differ from the list of players with most appearances.

Top Goalscorers[edit]

Pos. Nat. Name Div 1 FAC LC Total
1 England Ken Keyworth 21 5 1 27
2 England Mike Stringfellow 17 2 0 19
3 Scotland Dave Gibson 9 3 1 13
4 England Graham Cross 7 0 1 8
= Scotland Jimmy Walsh 6 0 2 8
6 England Howard Riley 5 0 1 6
7 Scotland Frank McLintock 4 0 0 4
8 England Albert Cheesebrough 3 0 0 3
9 England Terry Heath 2 0 0 2
10 England Richie Norman 1 0 0 1
= England Colin Appleton 1 0 0 1
Own Goals 3 0 0 3

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Greatest Ever Leicester City Side
  2. ^ Lymn, Chris. We Love You Leicester! : a popular history of Leicester City. Leicester: CRL. ISBN 0-9534409-0-7. 
  3. ^ a b c d Bagchi, Rob (6 October 2011). "The forgotten story of … Leicester City: Ice Kings". London: guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 15 October 2011. 
  4. ^ Dave Smith & Paul Taylor (2010). Of Fossils and Foxes. ISBN 1-905411-94-4. 
  5. ^ Leicester City: The Official History DVD (2004)