Fans Campaign – Flexible rail tickets for fans “within reach”

Supporters’ groups have been at the forefront of the flexible fare concept, the FSF campaigned alongside the Campaign for Better Transport as far back as 2013, Match-going supporters have faced issues booking early for the cheapest fixed date tickets with the risk that such a high proportion of games are moved for TV.

However, the rail industry is now considering introducing tickets which would be tied to specific football games, rather than dates, giving fans extra flexibility and peace of mind.

More details on the background, covering the political backing and views from the FSF, Premier League and Rail Delivery Group are available here
 

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Banks of England and Leicester City

Gordon Banks OBE, 1937-2019

The 27th August, 1966 was one of my proudest moments in football. It was Leicester City’s first home game after the World Cup win a few weeks earlier. The match was against West Ham United and, before the match, four of the England team paraded around the Filbert Street pitch – Moore, Hurst, Peters and more importantly to me, my first hero Gordon ‘Sugar’ Banks. City won the match 5-4 with Jackie Sinclair scoring a hat-trick: whilst memory of the goals has faded, the pride I felt that day that a City player had won the World Cup is forever with me.

The great sadness I and others felt today was exacerbated for me by listening to the tributes on the radio. As the many tributes poured in the focus was on Banksy as a Stoke player, a club who seemed to embrace him more than Leicester City did. His departure from Leicester was not welcomed by Banks himself, I remember at the time being in disbelief that he would move from Leicester let alone to a lesser club.

Peter Shilton was a name we knew but were as yet not able to appreciate his talents, but how could Leicester force the World’s greatest keeper out of the club. City further treated him badly by refusing to pay him a loyalty bonus, this was finally agreed at £2000 but, incredibly, it was Stoke that paid it as Banks found out in later years. After his playing days finished Banks became president at Stoke City, a statue of Gordon Banks stands proudly outside the Britannia Stadium.

The only time I ever spoke to Gordon was at a Charity match at Gretton, Nr. Corby in the late 1980’s. It was a match I arranged with Birch’s Leicester All Stars. Gordon played, not in goal but on the wing, it mattered not. At the end of the match the people who attended were to a man, woman and child waiting for his autograph and Gordon signed for everyone with that broad smile and a thank you for all.

I remember how he came across as a humble man, he did not brag about his achievements, his great saves, his World No. 1 ranking; he seemed almost embarrassed by the high regard he was held in. I remember he wanted to talk more about youth football than his own achievements. He was interested in people, he had time for people, and his soft voice put you at ease in the great man’s presence.

Before the WBA v Nottingham Forest match tonight at the Hawthorns, the screen showed a picture of Banks diving to his right with his shirt bearing the wonderful foxes head and hunting crops.

When Leicester City play Crystal Palace a week on Saturday, I am sure that the Club will give their legend a send off to be proud of, I for one will have tears in my eyes. Let us all remember he was foremost a Leicester City player, during the minutes applause or silence I will be thinking of that Saturday in August 1966 when he made me so proud to be a Leicester City fan.

My first hero, and first heroes never, ever die

RIP Banksy.

Written by Colin Murrant

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Signs of improvement?

Spurs 3 City 1

Report by Kate Thompson

All the talk before the game started was the dropping of Vardy to the bench.  Puel’s reason seemed a little thin and one couldn’t help thinking that the apparent spat between the two of them after the Manchester United game was a factor. 

I find it hard to believe that Vardy could be so petty as to object to his manager talking to a fellow Frenchman, even if he played for the opposition, but like so many things in football, we shall never know the truth.

The omission of Vardy was not the only surprise in the team, with Ghezzal starting the match, but I was pleased to see Tielemans make his debut. 

For the first half hour or so, City were the better team and if they had taken the lead during this period, only the most diehard Spurs fan would have begrudged them it. 

As it was, Spurs scored first when Sanchez hit the net with his first goal for the club from a diving header.  It really came out of the blue and was certainly against the run of play.  At half-time, the score remained at 1-0 to Spurs, but the second half was a lively affair.

City were awarded a penalty on the hour mark, and Maddison looked poised to take it despite missing his previous two attempts.  Cue further excitement when Vardy, waiting to come on in place of Gray, was handed the ball by Maddison (This all happened in front of the Leicester fans, so we could all clearly see Maddison give the ball to Vardy, not Vardy snatch it from him as reported in some quarters). but Lloris got a hand to it and it was saved. 

The Spurs fans felt this was recompense for Song being booked for diving in the first half when they felt it should have been a penalty.  In truth, this was the second occasion when Song had flung himself to the ground, so perhaps the yellow card for diving was a culmination of the two incidents. 

The second Spurs goal came about when two defenders dallied too near the box and Eriksen (who else) drove an unstoppable volley past his fellow Dane. 

This did not kill off the game, though, and Vardy scored a scruffy, but well-worked goal in the 75h minute. 

After this, City pressed for an equaliser but sadly this led to Song being left with all the time in the world to score a third in time added on at the end of the game. 

For the record, Ghezzal was replaced by Iheanacho in the 72nd minute and Barnes by Okazaki in the 88th.  Iheanacho was originally not even in the squad and we were puzzled why Mendy wasn’t playing and Ndidi started the game, but it transpired that Mendy had felt some tightness in his groin during the warm-up.  For his sake, I hope it is not serious, he has had more than his fair share of injuries.

This felt like a game of missed opportunities, and I can’t help but feel Vardy starting the game would have led to a different conclusion.  I am not one calling for Puel’s head, but some of his decisions seem baffling. 

Having said this, there were some promising signs and if Barnes had been a bit more clinical he could have had a hat trick.  The most pleasing aspect was the range of passing demonstrated by Tielemans; we thought he would supply the offensive midfield role done so well in the past by Drinkwater, and so it proved.  It is to be hoped that if he continues to do well, the club will be able to sign him permanently. 

As for the rest of the team, nobody had a bad game – we just need the rub of the green a bit more.

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Rose (Walker-Peters), Winks, Skipp (Alderweireld), Sissoko, Eriksen, Son, Llorente (Wanyama)

Leicester City XI: Schmeichel, Ricardo Pereira, Maguire, Evans, Chilwell, Ndidi, Tielemans, Ghezzal (Iheanacho), Maddison, Barnes (Okazaki), Gray (Vardy)

The views expressed in this report are the opinions of the Trust member nominated to file the report only and do not represent the views of the Foxes Trust organisation

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Going to Wembley ?

Wembley (Spurs Sun Feb 10th 1.30pm kick off) –  HA9 0WS

By Car

Take the North Circular road from the M1 and B4557 to Wembley Stadium

Approx 100 miles, 1 hours 30 mins to 2 hours

Parking

It is recommended that any visitors wishing to drive to the stadium only use the Official Wembley Stadium Car Parks. To reserve your space, please visit wembleyofficialparking.com . To avoid disappointment, please pre-book your space early. The Pink carpark is designated the AWAY supporters car park, spaces cost £40. A protective parking scheme operates in the local residential streets on Stadium event days. Only vehicles with the appropriate resident or business event day permits will be allowed to park in the area. The local council has stated that illegally parked vehicles will be issued with large parking fines and towed away.

Unauthorised Parking

Note: there are a number of unauthorised car parking operators within the Industrial Estate on the approach to the Wembley complex. We would strongly advise that you do not use them and choose Official parking for the following reasons;

Insurance risk: They may not be correctly insured to operate commercial car parks, this means you are not covered on their site if they are at fault.
Patrols: They do not patrol the car parks during or after the event.
Car crime: There are numerous reports of car crime in unofficial car parks.
Poor lighting: They are poorly lit as are the approach roads for pedestrians.

Wembley Stadium is a public transport destination and all visitors are advised to utilise public transport wherever possible.

By Rail:

Take the tube from St Pancras to Marylebone and Chiltern Railways from there to the stadium

Trains take around 3hours, £72-00 offpeak return

Bags

Please note only small bags 30cm x 30cm can be taken into the stadium and there is no luggage drop off facility. UPDATE any fans travelling to Wembley on Sunday need to adhere to the bag size policy otherwise they will be confiscated or you are asked to deposit them at ‘left luggage’ at a cost of £10 – bag size is restricted to smaller than A4

Where to drink

There are a number of pubs and bars within 15 mins walk of the stadium

Please check the cost and times of trains etc. All information is provided in good faith but the Foxes Trust cannot be held responsible for any errors.

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CITY PAY PRICE FOR YET ANOTHER SLOW START

CITY 0 MAN UTD 1

REPORT BY EDDIE BLOUNT

For the 17th time in 25 games City conceded an early goal, in this case the only goal of the game and one which changed the nature of the contest. Man U had begun in lively fashion and Rashford missed a sitter when he headed over from close range having ghosted behind Maguire and Chilwell after a mere 4 minutes. Double that time and the Reds were in the lead courtesy of poor City defending.

Ricardo had possession with no opponent anywhere near him and should have played the ball forward and wide, into space for Vardy. Instead he drove the ball powerfully inland and straight to Pogba. I am not a great fan of Pogba but he showed his class with quick control and a perfect chip to Rashford, once again in space behind and between Maguire and Chilwell who obviously learned nothing from the previous experience of losing track of a potentially lethal finisher. Credit to Rashford he despatched the ball past Schmeichel with the minimum of fuss and never looked like missing.

From this point onwards United altered their tactics. City often do well against top side because such teams come to attack and in so doing leave themselves vulnerable to the counter-attack. United were obviously aware of the threat of Leicester on the break so they contented themselves with making defence their first priority and as a result City found it hard to create real chances.

Opportunities there were in the first half – Maddison delaying his shot and seeing it blocked, Evans heading over from a corner – but we never really looked as though we would score. In truth the first half was as boring as the games against Cardiff and Southampton and the crowd fell menacingly silent.

This frustration boiled over in the second half when Puel subbed Maddison for Ghezzal, a decision greeted with a storm of booing. In fact Maddison had not had much influence on the game and Ghezzal showed up well but a section of the crowd have passed judgment on Puel and were not to be denied their voice.

Ghezzal showed some clever touches and no little skill. His high moment came when curling a 25-yard free kick wonderfully towards the top corner only for De Gea to make a truly brilliant save. His weakness continues to be a lack of physicality and it remains to be seen whether he can be anything more than a poor man’s Mahrez.

In fairness the second half was a lot more watchable than the first! City had several opportunities and Vardy, Maddison, Barnes and Maguire could all have scored but didn’t. None of these efforts was totally clear-cut but all were scoring opportunities which would have changed the game. I felt throughout the half that we would score another if only we could get one!

A word of praise for Barnes playing in the absence of the injured Albrighton. He showed strength and pace and was as likely as anyone to make the break-through. Chilwell apparently rates him as a future England certainty!

Unfortunately I cannot find a word of praise for referee Dean. The phrase he knows the laws but does not understand the game could have been coined for Dean. He booked six players in a largely non-physical contest and ruled by fear. If ever a referee needed to be sent on a Managing Players awareness course it is Dean, sitting next to Jon Moss of course.

City are gradually passing up the chance to finish as the best of the rest, a position that is wide open this season. It’s almost as if we don’t want to play in the Europa Cup, hardly surprising given the experiences of others who have qualified in recent years. The balance of the present side is wrong in home games especially against sides below us. Perhaps the new man will make a difference. It will be interesting to see who makes way for him

City: Schmeichel, Ricardo, Evans, Maguire, Chilwell, Mendy (Iheanacho 84), Ndidi, Gray (Okazaki 74), Maddison (Ghezzal 62), Barnes, Vardy

United: De Gea, Shaw, Lindelof, Bailly, Young, Pogba, Matic, Herrara, Sanchez (Martial 67), Lingard (Jones 90), Rashford (Lukaku 78)

The views expressed in this report are the opinions of the Trust member nominated to file the report only and do not represent the views of the Foxes Trust organisation

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