PNE 0 v Foxes 1
On the short trip for me to Preston I thought about Steve Walsh's foreword to the 'Essential History of Leicester City' book – "Leicester to most people is simply an unremarkable city, somewhere in the middle of the country … but to the people of Leicester it is much more than that…The story of Leicester gives an example of what can be achieved by hard work, commitment and loyalty to the cause. The fans have been brought up to expect its team to not know when it is beaten, and to never quit".
And meeting my Preston-supporting mate before the game and him all full of dreams of promotion, I thought about how we haven't had a dream in a long time. And I thought about how many times in the last week I'd told friends and colleagues in Manchester that Leicester were one of only a handful of clubs never to have been out of the top two flights. And in the national football museum at Deepdale I saw young Leicester fans marveling at a wall display showing league placings for the past 100 years and what a force we've been from time to time. And I thought about the Talking Heads song 'Once in a Lifetime', and I thought 'how did we get here?'
And most of all I wished Walshy was still playing, cos I know that when the chips are down you look around in the changing room and wonder 'who's going to do it for us today?' and I know its a Yank saying but even though the irony is that we've had much worse teams over the years, I just didn't think we had the 'go to' players to get us out of this pickle. I could feel the soil falling over our heads and I must confess I wasn't sure who could save us, and cos I've not been to many games this season I felt I'd not done my best and I felt pretty low about the whole shooting match.
But just when you think football nowadays is about as passionate as a trip to Tescos and that it doesn't mean a thing to you anymore, you have a day like this and it was right up there with winning the play-offs and the league cups. We didn't need the go-to players because we had the go-to fans, they weren't just the 12th man they were the 13th and 14th as well – and their belief transmitted to the players and they became as giants. And with the engraver's hand poised to chisel a name onto the Tony James Great Escape Trophy, who could have guessed it would be the name of Nisse Johannsen, the 66-1 longest punt on the coupon for first goalscorer – in the last minute – in front of the Leicester fans. What a moment!….