How Emile Heskey rescued debt-ridden Leicester City from administration with £100,000 donation
There is no question that what is happening with Leicester City in the Premier League is nothing short of a miracle. After narrowly avoiding relegation last season, the Foxes have written the perfect fairy tale so far after beating one opponent after another to top the Premier League with an eight-point lead over second-placed Tottenham Hotspur who have a game in hand.
Claudio Ranieri has deserved all the plaudits that have come his way. Not much was expected of him when he came to the club and he too had set a target of 40 points to ensure the Foxes would survive relegation. But they achieved that and much more!
But much before this story became a reality, it was Emile Heskey who did his bit to ensure Leicester City would survive. Back in the day, the Foxes were in heavy debt and it was Heskey who donated £100,000 to ease the financial burden at Filbert Street – Leicester City’s old stadium that was in use until 2002 – and help them get out of administration in 2002.
Heskey had started his career at Leicester as a youth player before eventually getting into the senior team. He scored 46 goals for the Foxes before making a £11m move to Liverpool in 1999.
I owe my career to Leicester City: Heskey
Speaking to Daily Star, Heskey said: “If it wasn’t for this club would I be what I am or have done what I have achieved? Everything that happened for me is down to me starting here as a little kid.
“I just felt it was something I had to do and, in all fairness, I thought a few more people would do it as well. But maybe they just didn’t have the same deep feeling as me.
“I just gave it unconditionally because of my love for the club. They were in a bad way. It was desperate. It was sad to see the club I played for and went to cup finals with in such a terrible state,” he explained.
“I was a ball boy at Filbert Street and I went to playing at the old Wembley with my parents watching. Everything about what happened for me – the 5-1 win with England in Germany – was all down to starting here.
“The club was going down a road nobody wanted to see. It was something I had to do. I wasn’t looking for anything from it.”
And what if Leicester City win the title with a game to spare?
“The last game of the season is at Chelsea,”Heskey said. “You couldn’t make that up.”
The last game of the season will be played on 15 May and the Foxes could receive a guard of honour at Stamford Bridge if they arrive as champions.
“Imagine if Leicester came out there to a guard of honour from the team that were champions the previous season? Now that is the kind of thing you read about in fairytales isn’t it?”