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Foxes never quit. At least not when they’re Leicester City Football Club foxes.
As regular readers will know, Leicester City (known fondly by their fans as the Foxes) is an English premiership football club owned by an offshoot of Thai travel retailer King Power International (Group Chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha is the club’s Chairman and Senior Executive Vice President Susan Whelan is CEO).
Last year the Foxes won England’s second-tier competition, the Championship, winning promotion to play against the really big boys of the game – Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and, of course, Crystal Palace.
To say the club’s return to football’s upper echelons has been a struggle would be an understatement. Despite playing a nice, neat brand of football, the seemingly luckless Foxes have been at the bottom of the league for most of the season, so far off safety in fact over recent weeks that most pundits had them written off as certain relegation candidates.
But, as I say (and so does the sign in the players’ tunnel), Foxes never quit. Against all odds they had won two games in a row before Saturday’s match against mid-table Swansea (the Swans). Another victory would be a giant leap towards safety.
Now despite my long-time allegiance to the mighty Crystal Palace, I have been supporting Leicester City avidly since King Power’s involvement with the club began. Last year, Leicester City Football Club Foundation named The Moodie Report Foundation (dedicated to funding cancer research) as one of its official charities, a fantastic vote of support for our efforts to combat this appalling disease.
I’d been planning to attend the Swansea game for months. My daughter Sinead, a key member of The Moodie Report team, lives in Swansea with her partner Adrian, a life-long Swans supporter. Susan Whelan had generously offered them (and Adrian’s parents) match tickets and directors’ lounge hospitality. Turning up with four Swansea supporters was probably taking a liberty (stadium) with her generosity but they were welcomed with a warmth none had expected or indeed experienced anywhere else in the football world. That is King Power for you.
[Sinead Moodie, Filbert Fox and Martin Moodie before the big game]
The Moodie loyalties may have been divided but the match spoils were not. Amid incredible crowd support (there was a Latin-looking woman alongside me with a great voice, waving her blue and white scarf. I think it was Gloria Leicesterfan*), Leicester City ran out convincing victors by 2-0, a result that propelled them two places up the table and suddenly looking a more than solid bet for Premiership survival. Make no mistake, the Foxes are on the run.
*Courtesy of www.AnyoneforPunishment.com
[Celebrating the fantastic Mr Foxes: Susan Whelan, Martin Moodie, Sinead Moodie, Craig Norwell (Strategy & Global Customer Director, Diageo Travel Retail & Middle East), Robbie Gill (Susan’s husband and Director of The Design Solution) and Rodger Craig (Managing Director, Inflight Initiatives).]