Richard III and ‘King Power’!

Being totally uninterested in football, it’s not like me to wait on tenterhooks for a match result – but that’s what happened last week, and now I’m absolutely delighted that Leicester City have just become champions of the Premier League.

Five years ago, news that the football team of an obscure Midlands city had beaten the likes of Manchester United might have rated a few column inches outside the UK as a heart-warming ‘triumph of the underdog’ story. But today it’s splashed all over the international media, including the New York Times, and why? The answer is, rather bizarrely, ‘King Richard III.’ In the first place it’s because, thanks to the discovery and re-burial of his remains in the city centre, people all over the world know about Leicester and continue to be interested in what’s happening there; and in the second place because of the almost spooky about-face in the Foxes’ fortunes since they began playing under the ‘King Power’ banner (while, ironically, York City’s Minstermen languish at the bottom of the second league).

Divine proof that Richard III is a Leicester supporter? I wouldn’t go that far – Richard may well have shared his elder brother Edward’s conviction that football was a frivolous pastime which distracted young men from the far more important pursuit of practicing with the longbow. However, I can’t help thinking there is something in it – like morale. From being the footballing face of somewhere few people outside Britain or the international Ricardian community had ever heard of, the team was catapulted into the spotlight as representatives of a city made world-famous as the last resting place of England’s last warrior king – and by God, they’ve lived up to it. Positive psychology plays a big part in winning at sport, so perhaps naming their stadium ‘King Power’ and emblazoning the words, with a crown, on their shirts was inspired: a very visible way of dinning that sense of power and pride into the players, and supporters, every time they set foot on the field.

Of course, not everyone’s pleased; the usual suspects on social media are clucking and carping about exploitation and the horrible disrespect of hanging a Leicester City scarf round the neck of Richard’s statue beside the Cathedral. I find this sad, because it strikes me as quite the opposite: an affectionate, humorous gesture showing Richard being owned and embraced by the citizens, remembered, included and identified with their victory (and I think he looks very cute in the scarf) – just as people everywhere are reminded of him every time they see an image of the King Power Stadium or the Foxes wearing those shirts. To me, it’s wonderfully positive publicity for British sport and British medieval history, a welcome antidote to all the sadness and horror of the regular news. What’s not to like? Yes, long may Leicester City’s King Power last – go, Foxes!

By Helen Rae Rants!

I'm a freelance writer and lecturer, author of non-fiction works on the Battles of Wakefield and Towton, and the risque fantasy series Lay of Angor under my pen-name Rae Andrew. My hobbies are Wars of the Roses re-enactment, archery, walking, reading and cooking; and I'm passionately fond of cats, chocolate and Richard III.


  1. Perhaps it wouldn’t be so unpalatable to ‘those carping on social media’ if Leicester promoted Richard’s life and the good he did instead of all the doom and gloom they seem intent on covering him with? Those awful stained glass windows remind me of ‘The Scream’ painting by Edvard Munch. The cathedral go on about ‘sin and redemption’ …… How about talking about his far seeing and far reaching statutes in his only Parliament? All for the good of the common man? Why not tell everyone about his reputation for justice? And don’t forget his military skills BEFORE Bosworth and of course his success with the Scots!
    Oh no….. That doesn’t sell tickets does it.


  2. Well I am a football fan and you could have got odds of 5000-1 on Leicester City winning the Premiership before the start of the season.

    I’m personally delighted for them and their manager, Claudio Ranieri, an it is a breath of fresh air for English football.
    As my team (Arsenal) and the other so-called big clubs seemed intent on squandering opportunities and talent, Leicester, under an adept man-manager capitalised on the situation.

    It’s got nothing to do with King Richard III, as let’s be honest, he didn’t have much do with Leicester, apart from being killed in the vicinity.


    1. Well, I think it actually was thanks to Richard, albeit indirectly, because the whole of the part of Leicester surrounding the Cathedral was revamped and made to look so much nicer (having seen it before and after). This plus, of course, the tourist value of having Richard buried there has caused the whole city to have more pride and a more positive self-image. The morale of the team must have been raised as well, by the total uplifting atmosphere, and we all know how important morale is for a team (or an army).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What is really strange in this endless Leicester-York thing is that the people who decry Leicester for its tourism activities imagine that, had Richard been reburied in York, nothing would have been said tourism wise, he would have simply been buried and left with hardly a mention and only devoted Ricardians would have taken any notice of the whole thing.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. The association of Richard with LCFC goes back to the “spooky stats” published by some sports papers which showed that LCFC’s win rate of 32% improved to 63% immediately after his reinterment and has stayed there ever since. So there’s some basis to it, coincidental as it may be.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. LC also contributed financially to Richards tomb, so this is seen as the catalyst for the change in fortune, first sacking of Pearson thanks to his son abusing a Thai Prostitute, also finishing above the relegation zone .Second the appointing of Ranieri and his shrewd transfer dealing’s . The rest is written in the stars .


  4. I agree with Michael to a large extent.

    The ‘King’ in the King Power logo is that of billionaire owner of Leicester City FC; King Power received the royal warrant from the King of Thailand.

    To attribute Leicester’s title success to Richard III is superstitious nonsense!
    Something more suited to his times than ours!

    I’ve been an avid fan of the English top flight league since I was a child and any link is just plain wishful thinking!
    Can we take it that LCFC will win the Champions League next season?

    By the way, I was always burial neutral, so it’s not a case of York sour grapes with me! Just common sense and a knowledge of the English premiership!


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