Or at least TLF was.
Yep after a mere 485 days since I last set foot in Filbert Way (or the King Power stadium if you must) the Fox was back. The expected fanfare with civic welcoming committee, brass band, balloons etc as I stepped off the train was notable only by its absence….they must have got the wrong day.
Of course it wasn’t just TLF making a return. No Lesta City were back in the Premier League after being absent for a decade. This change of circumstance does mean a bit more focus from the media of course; Five Live made us their 3pm commentary game, no doubt hoping for either a bit of ‘upset’ or an opening day ‘lambs to the slaughter new boys sacrifice.’ Plus a mere 6 out of 10 Grauniad football writers tipping the Foxes for relegation…never liked the liberal rag anyway.
Although it was the great return, it was not the return to my usual seat (I wonder how many people who used to sit near the sweary lady with the mad hair are relieved not to see her anymore. They’ll have a shock come the West Brom game.) Instead I was Fox in the Corporate Box. Let me assure though that no prawn sandwiches were harmed in the viewing of this football match. In fact corporate is not as dull as you think. There are advantages.
For one thing if you get there first then NO ONE can see you cry. Yep as I stepped out to the seated area I came over a bit teary, and at this stage no drink had been taken. Despite me being fairly neutral about the whole thing on the train, turns out that the place still really matters. Emotional investment hangs around apparently.
Anyway before I become a permanently soppy Fox, the other advantages of the corporate box.
There’s a fridge!
With beer in it!
My mate David (owner of box and long term Lesta fan) invites nice people, some of whom at half time were confident Lesta would pull it back and the game would finish 2-2; poor fools I thought.
There is space to pace so that when you have equalised against Everton to make it 2-2 and there are still 4 mins plus injury time to go you can pace and worry about not conceding another goal – am sure it makes all the difference.
And you can swear. OK technically you probably shouldn’t but hey shit happens. Plus my best moment, “Fookin book him ref!” seemed to convince man in baseball cap (friend of Helder Teli, proprietor of Spicy Handii restaurant – key stop off point of the new pre-match routine) that this woman with the mad hair just might be ok.
You see. Swearing – the universal ice-breaker.
At the final whistle there was much high fiving and hugs with people who 90 mins ago were strangers and were now best friends (ok drink had now been taken). A great way to come home, and the mighty Saints were not forgotten as regular checks kept with up to date with wot go on in Farnborough (1-0 to the mighty Saints thanks for asking).
Not forgotten either was the lovely Pete Briggs, a true footballing friend who sadly didn’t live to see LCFC make it back to the Prem. Pre-match I went to see his newly installed plaque in the memorial garden:
Peter Briggs, good friend, family man. Forever a Fox. He will be missed.
Yes he will.
Still a bit soppy Fox