Wednesday 17 January 2018

Dream come true for Wexford's No 1 Leicester City fan

By david looby

Scenes of jubliation at the King Power Stadium in Leicester
Scenes of jubliation at the King Power Stadium in Leicester

A Wexford-based Leicester City fan flew to England to witness unparallelled scenes of joy after the club pulled off the unlikeliest of feats, winning the Premier League.

David Percival, who is originally from Leicester, moved to Wexford a decade ago having fallen for local woman Susan Furlong. He was at his friend Jimmy O'Neill's house when his team drew with Chelsea to win the league.

'I was just jumping around. It didn't feel real; it was fantasy!'

He said: 'I booked a last minute flight and arrived in Leicester on the Saturday morning. This is such a rare, special thing, I didn't want to miss it. People were hanging out of windows and up lampposts. It was one of the biggest parties ever witnessed in the city.'

David was hoping to get a ticket for the Everton game when his team received the Premier League trophy, but due to the astronomical prices being sought he ended up watching the game in the pub beside the stadium, which is fittingly called Local Heroes.

David, 55, said: 'I have never seen the likes of it. Everyone just wanted to be part of what was happening. Everybody was wearing blue and whether you were a football fan or not you couldn't help getting caught up in it.'

The Leicester City choir sang in front of the stadium and people joined in.

'Everyone was just smiling and laughing. People had to pinch themselves. They just couldn't get their heads around it. It was such a sense of incredulity.'

David bumped into Leicester fans from Ireland on his way home. 'It turns out there are a lot more people who support Leicester than many people would think. I know of three in Wexford, but there may be many more.'

David has supported the team since he was a child. 'I first watched Leicester City play in the late 1960s when my Dad took me to see a game against Blackppol. The brightness of the lights was only matched by the tangerine colour of the opposition team jerseys.'

He watches his team play every chance he can on television but rarely gets to see them play at games in the UK these days. 'People don't realise the rollercoaster of emotions us Leicester City supporters have gone through in recent years. As recently as 2008-2009 Leicester City were playing in League 1 in what is really the third tier of English football. I have never dreamed that Leicester City could win the Premier League. It was thought of as impossible as for years we lived in the shadows of our east midlands rivals, Nottingham Forest and Derby County. Winning the Premiership is the biggest achievement in our 132 year history. I wonder what the odds are for Leicester to win the Champions League.'

Wexford People

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