5000-1: The Leicester City Story: How We Beat the Odds to Become Premier League Champions by Rob Tanner, Alan Smith (Foreword)

5000At the end of a frenetic 2015 season of the English Premier League, which saw the usual suspects for the title come a cropper, Leicester City were crowned Champions of England. The Foxes who had escaped relegation by the skin of their collective teeth the previous season had upset all apple carts, braved seemingly impossible odds that placed them 5000-1 to win the League, to script one of the most miraculous fairy tales involving an underdog, in the annals of sporting history.

Rob Tanner has been following the fortunes and mostly misfortunes of Leicester in his capacity as a reporter for the Leicester Mercury newspaper. He hence was in a vantage position to report upon the amazing turn of fortunes enjoyed by his dear side. In this fascinating and crisp book, he shares his ringside view with the readers who were regaled by the team in Blue over a pulsating span of 38 games. Capturing the surge of the indomitable City braves from month to month, Tanner entertains the reader by chronicling the exploits of Claudio Ranieri’s Rainmen with delightful vigour and deft verve. A team which was dubbed the “Misfits”, with a Manager at the helm whose appointment was met with trepidation rather than hope, upset all lofty calculations, pulled punches beyond their weight before holding aloft the League Trophy with their nearest rivals trailing by a whole 10 points in their wake.

Rob Tanner captures in a brilliant manner all the emotions, exhilaration, exasperations and euphoria surrounding the fairy tale of Leicester City. He also profiles in an endearing manner the rise of some of the extraordinary talent such as the mercurial Jamie Vardy; the artistic Riyad Mahrez, the indefatigable Kasper Schmeichel and the ever reliable Andy King. All these superstars were prior to the commencement of the season unwanted footballers deemed incapable of achieving success. However a bunch of ordinary but determined band of brothers bonded together to create history, and in the process becoming extraordinary individuals themselves.

As the book climaxes in a crescendo of triumph and glory, one may be forgiven for wiping an involuntary happy tear. However in Leicester City, thousands of proud individuals shed copious amount of tears as they celebrated the unparalleled achievement of their champions – a bunch of Foxes had transformed themselves into a formidable pride of lions!

“5000-1…….” – Odds are firmly against reading this lovely book just once! A deserving tribute to a team that dared to dream!

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