A sublime volley by the late Keith Weller against Newcastle in 1975 captured the imagination of one Cork boy who 40 years later is celebrating his adopted side’s unlikeliest of victories.
It’s clear that Lenny O’Regan is no bandwagon fan as he lists the ups and downs of following the Foxes. Since seeing that goal it is clear that he is a rarity among Irish football fans; a dedicated Leicester City supporter.
Having witnessed that famous goal in St James’s Park on the TV on Saturday night sealed Lenny’s footballing fate. The fact that he can list the number of fellow Foxes with ease goes to show how few they are in number.
“There was a guy with a Leicester City hat at a water protest I was at. Another time there was a taxi driver, and I met a guy in the pub this year who put €3.50 on them to win the league and got €17,000. That’s about it,” Lenny said.
He can cite many highs over his years as a supporter — winning promotion to the First Division as he sat his Leaving Cert in 1983, Martin O’Neill leading the club to League Cup wins in 1997 and 2000 and avoiding relegation last season.
However, while the appointment of manager Claudio Ranieri game the Tower man cause for optimism, never in his wildest dreams did he think he would be adding a Premier League winning season to that list of memories.
“I thought he would settle us down for what I hoped would be a mid-table finish, which would have been perfect. But he brought the form from the back end of last season to this season, he has two tough defenders who give nothing away and was blessed with injuries and suspensions. There’s no doubt there is luck involved, but you need it to win the Premiership,” he said.
Having managed to watch all their matches this season, Lenny sat down on Monday night for an evening he’ll never forget.
“It’s the most nervous I’ve been watching a match,” he said of Tottenham’s draw with Chelsea, which sealed the title for Leicester. It was hard for me to shout for Chelsea but I did it,” he said.
This time last year, many Leicester fans would have been forgiven if they would be playing Championship sides the following September, such was the club’s perilous league position.
Now Lenny is waiting to see who his team will draw in the Champions League next year and has offered his services as the Irish Examiner’s Leicester ‘Terrace Talk’ columnist.
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