Foxes win is good news
Let me confess: even though I live only 10 miles away from the King Power Stadium I am not a fan of Leicester City. Never have been. Never will be. But there is something about their historic FA Cup Final triumph that has got me smiling from ear to ear.
Being a follower of sport, I have despaired at the way Premier League clubs have grabbed as much of the cash as they can in recent years, leaving anyone outside England’s elite division to dine on the scraps. Such greed has created a distinct two-tier system. Using a phrase my grandparents taught me, it is an extreme case of the ‘haves’ and the have-nots’.
Saturday’s wonderful and exciting win for the Foxes was fitting in so many ways. And in my humble opinion, it rightly bloodied the nose of one of the clubs that has done more than its fair share to tarnish the reputation of the beautiful game – Chelsea.
One of the ‘big six’ in English football – and Champions League finalists this season – the Blues are one of the architects of the disastrous European Super League, which crashed and burned only a few weeks ago.
According to most football pundits, they were odds-on favourites to win Saturday’s final. Yet they came up short, for the second year in a row, undone by a wonderful Leicester goal, two world class saves, and a team that is bonded together by an ethos that is the exact opposite of that gluing Chelsea together.
Leicester is a ‘family’ – a throwback to the good old days, when supporters could associate themselves with players and owners. Chelsea is not.
Leicester doesn’t take anything for granted, even though this win and current league position (and its Premier League triumph in 2015) has cemented its position as a ‘top club’, whereas Chelsea takes an awful lot for granted, not least its right to be at the top of the pyramid.
And there is a joy on the faces of Leicester’s fans that you don’t get at many other clubs. Why? Because it is a happy club whereas the likes of Chelsea are not.
I am sure God doesn’t involve himself in such trivial pursuits as influencing who wins and loses football matches. But you could be forgiven for thinking he was at work at Wembley on Saturday evening.
Leicester were protected from the first minute to the last – even when Chelsea put the ball in the back of the net, scoring what appeared to be a perfectly good goal. But no, a technical aide – called VAR – kicked in at that moment, ruling the goal should not chalked-off. Whether it was divine intervention, or not, Leicester were not to be denied.
This was one match that reminded me so much about life.
It emphasised that if you are prepared to do the right things, then things generally work out okay. You may not have everything you desire when it comes to material things – but when it comes to the essentials, you will have them in abundance.
On the flipside, if you pursue success at all costs and are prepared to cheat, be disloyal, and show arrogance in the extreme, then you will be undone – when you least expect it and when you feel the pain all the more acutely.
So well done, Leicester City. Thank you for lighting up my Saturday – for all the right reasons.
Tony Yorke is Deputy Editor of Sorted magazine.