Name: Stuart Dawkins.
Current home town: Leicester.
When did you first support LCFC? I went to my first game in the 1969/70 season – although I remember watching the 1969 FA Cup Final on TV.
When did you first join on the Trust Board? 2011.
Why did you join? I joined the Trust at the time the Club was in Administration. I had been writing match reports for the Trust website for a couple of years before I volunteered to join the Board. Supporters Trusts play an important role in trying to ensure that the governance of football is as good as it can be. Professional football is an important part of life for many people, trying to ensure that it is run in a manner that reflects supporters’ needs is important.
What is your main role? I tend to look after matters where there are links with politics – for example I drafted the successful application for the King Power Stadium to be added to the Asset of Community Value register. I also tend to be the one who sub-edits documents – so if there are any typos or grammatical errors in this piece, I will have failed!
If you were to say one thing about why you feel other supporters should join the Trust, what would it be? The current ownership of Leicester City Football Club has been positive and generally responsive to supporters’ views, but the experience at other clubs shows that is not always the case. Having a strong, representative Trust membership helps with our interaction with the Club. We have regular liaison with the Club at various levels, from Chief Executive downwards, and are always happy to raise and discuss issues which are important to our members. Finally, the existence of an active Trust at the majority of clubs – including in the Premier League – helps lobbying on national issues, too.
Favourite thing about the ground: I can walk to it from home, and there are great views from everywhere in it. The noise that can be generated is phenomenal. I know people talk about the loudness of the home Champions League games, but I still think the roar when Ulloa scored the winner against Norwich a couple of seasons ago the loudest thing I have ever heard at a football match.
Favourite view and/or where you sit: Block J1, about half-way up. I have been in that area since the ground opened. I like the view from around the half-way line for home matches.
Favourite match & why: This is really hard, as many in the Premier League-winning season stand out, as well as the Champions League games, of course. The 5-3 game against Manchester United was special. However, my absolute favourite was the 3-3 draw at Filbert Street against Arsenal in the 1997/98 season. Arsenal were coasting to a 2-0 win, before three goals were scored in injury time – including Bergkamp’s goal of the season!
Favourite player of all time who played for our club: There have been so many over the years that I am not sure I have an absolute favourite.
Our 15/16 Season:
At what stage did you think we would win the league? When Hazard equalized for Chelsea against Spurs. For much of that season, I thought Leicester were the best team in the league, but in the final few games prior to that match Spurs were looking the better team; I expected them to win all the games in their run-in and feared City might falter.
Where were you when the final whistle went at the Chelsea v Spurs game and how did you feel? Watching it at home on TV. I felt stunned really … the whole season seemed so unreal. My girlfriend and I had already shared a bottle of wine during the match. When it finished, we opened a bottle of bubby and watched pretty much the whole match again in shock!
Where were you when we were presented with the trophy and how did you feel? In Block J1, amazed at how much heat is generated by those fire-cannon gizmos. I felt proud of the team and what it had achieved. I thought that whole day was well organised – walking around the ground seeing all the people from many nationalities just wanting to be there despite not having tickets, the Andrea Bocelli introduction, the fact that the biblical rainstorm did not happen whilst the fans were getting to the ground nor during the post-match celebrations. It was a special afternoon.
How has Leicester winning the league changed the perception of the club? It has clearly lifted the profile of the club immensely. It also lifted the profile of the City, particularly coming so soon after the Richard III discovery.
Has it made a difference to you personally? It resulted in mini-holidays to Porto, Seville and Madrid. It significantly increased the number of away matches I attend: partly for the buzz of visiting as ‘Champions’, partly to get my Away Points topped-up for the Champions League games.
Any other comments in relation to that incredible season? It still seems unreal. I would love there to be European football in Leicester again soon. The feeling in the town centre on home match days was really good. My favourite memory, however, was of the celebration party on Victoria Park. I have never seen (pretty much) all of Leicester gathered together in one place before: all ages, colours, creeds and nationalities each involved in a positive, uplifting experience. It is amazing that the game of football can have such an effect