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Iconic Shirt Numbers: Leicester’s Best No.4s

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Whether it be an inside-forward turned centre-back, a midfield playmaker or a fearsome defender, the no.4 shirt at Leicester City has been occupied by some of the most dynamic players in the Club’s history.

Johnny Duncan’s eight seasons at Leicester City, from 1922 to 1930, saw him achieve many feats including captaining the side to promotion as Second Division champions in 1925.

Originally a goalscoring inside-forward, from 1926 onwards he became a right-half and occupied the no.4 shirt for City.

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Johnny Duncan

Johnn Duncan scored six goals in a 7-0 win over Port Vale in 1925.

He famously scored a double hat-trick on Christmas Day in 1925 versus Port Vale, and was captain of the Club when they finished third in the First Division in 1928, and runners-up in 1929.

Duncan left City to run a pub in 1930 before returning as manager in 1946, leading his side to their first FA Cup Final in 1949.

A team-mate of Duncan’s, Sep Smith, was a Leicester City player for a Club-record 20 seasons, starting out as an inside-forward and finishing as a centre-back.

However, for much of the 1930s, and for the immediate post-war season, he wore the no.4 shirt as a right-half.

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Sep Smith

Sep Smith's 20 seasons as a Leicester City player is a Club record.

In City’s 1934 FA Cup Semi-Final clash with Portsmouth, he played against his two brothers, Jack and Willie, while he was capped as a no.4 for England in 1935.

Smith was captain of the side that won the Second Division title in 1937, and he played for Leicester in the regional leagues throughout the Second World War, except for one year in which he served a suspension.

He left the Club after Norman Bullock was appointed manager, and later became a maintenance engineer for Thorn Lighting until retirement.

Scotland international Frank McLintock was one of City’s biggest stars in the first half of the 1960s, having joined the Football Club in 1957.

As a right-half, and occupant of the no.4 shirt, McLintock reached the FA Cup Final in 1961 and 1963 with City, and was a member of the Ice Kings side that were realistic contenders for the double during the latter year. 

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Frank McLintock

Frank McLintock was regarded as one of City's best players in the first half of the 1960s.

He developed an effective tactical ploy of switching with inside-right Graham Cross during games, while he formed a fine cross-field partnership with Davie Gibson.

The Glaswegian joined Arsenal for a Club-record fee of £80,000 in 1964, and later moved to centre-back to help the Gunners win the First Division and FA Cup double in 1971, while also captaining Queens Park Rangers to second place in 1976.

He managed the Foxes during the 1977/78 campaign, but saw them relegated after being afforded a transfer budget of only £100,000, despite the Club needing several new players.

After making his debut for the Foxes against Manchester United at Old Trafford in August 1998, Gerry Taggart played nearly 150 games during a rich period for the Football Club.

Immensely popular among the Blue Army for his spirited displays, Taggart’s first season at Leicester saw him in and out of the team due to injury.

However, the following campaign, in 1999/00, he established himself in the starting XI and went on to lift the League Cup at Wembley, starting alongside two-goal hero Matt Elliott in the centre of defence.

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Gerry Taggart

Gerry Taggart helped Leicester City lift the 2000 League Cup during his time at the Club.

He earned City’s Player of the Year award that season, but there was plenty more to come, as Taggart featured and scored in the UEFA Cup for City against Red Star Belgrade, and the Premier League.

Leicester were relegated in 2002, but bounced straight back, with Taggart playing over 30 games, before he joined Stoke City on loan in 2003/04, and then permanently the following summer.

Danny Drinkwater’s arrival from Manchester United in 2012 coincided with City’s push for promotion to the Premier League under Nigel Pearson.

The occupant of City’s no.4 jersey played 46 times in all competitions during his debut campaign, and while the Foxes’ 2012/13 journey ultimately ended in play-off semi-final defeat at Watford, they responded well the next term, with Drinkwater playing a vital role. 

City won the Championship with a Club record 102 points, with Drinkwater named as the PFA’s Championship Player of the Year, as well as the Foxes’ Player of the Year 

Drinkwater was limited to 24 appearances during City’s Great Escape in 2014/15, but was key in their end of season form, helping the side to successes over Swansea City, Burnley, Southampton and Queens Park Rangers.

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Danny Drinkwater

Danny Drinkwater was one of Leicester's 2015/16 title-winning heroes.

The following campaign, he excelled under Claudio Ranieri, with City storming to the Premier League title and Drinkwater played 35 times, scoring twice, including a brilliant effort at Stamford Bridge on the final day. 

In 2016/17, Drinkwater was the only Fox to feature in all 10 of City’s UEFA Champions League matches, while he also scored a stunning goal in the 3-1 win over Liverpool during Craig Shakespeare’s first game in charge.

The following summer, Drinkwater departed for Chelsea for a then Club-record fee received for a player, having played 217 times in all competitions, lifting the Premier League and Championship titles in turn. 

Çağlar Söyüncü has undoubtedly been one of the surprise stars of the Premier League this season, having joined from Bundesliga outfit SC Freigburg in 2018 and opting to wear the no.4 shirt for City.

He played just eight times during his maiden season in England, but in 2019/20 has featured in all but one of Leicester’s 29 Premier League matches.

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Çağlar Söyüncü

Çağlar Söyüncü has been in fine form for City during the 2019/20 campaign.

The Turkey international scored his first goal in Leicester colours in the 2-0 victory at Crystal Palace – a success that came during Leicester’s Club-record sequence of eight-straight Premier League wins, with Söyüncü involved in every triumph.

With 10 clean sheets to his name, he has built a formidable partnership in central defence alongside the experience Jonny Evans, and is already a firm fans’ favourite at King Power Stadium.

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On 29/05/2020 at 12:45, TrentFox said:

Wasn’t Steve Kember a 4? Too young at that time to know if he was any good or not, but I always knew that I liked him a lot. 

 Really liked him as a player.




Edited by Blue Fox 72
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4 hours ago, Angus Scott said:

Bobby Roberts, great player

One of those really reliable club players over about 7 seasons in 60's. I do remember him  with Graham Cross at 6, Mclintock at 5 for many years. Roberts (and Cross) were in Cup Final team of 69. I seem to remember he scouted for Oxford City for a short period

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