- in In Pictures
Batman running loose at Christmas, that play-off semi-final defeat at Vicarage Road and the moment the most unlikely Premier League title was won.
Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel joined Peter Crouch to discuss the club’s greatest achievement, and everything that led to it, on the latest episode of That Peter Crouch Podcast.
The Denmark international has made 330 club appearances and won the Premier League since joining the then-Championship side in 2011, but the 33-year-old explains why there have been plenty of “laughs” along the way.
Christmas in Copenhagen
It’s 6 December, 2015 and Leicester are two points clear at the top of the Premier League after winning 3-0 at Swansea. The team have stayed in Wales overnight and are heading to Copenhagen for their Christmas party. Danish native and event organiser Schmeichel is excitedly waiting at the airport for his teammates to arrive in their fancy dress costumes…
Schmeichel: “I was one of the first to arrive at the airport so I saw everyone coming down the stairs in their fancy dress costumes. There were people getting out of the lift with Pacman, who was Wes Morgan. It was brilliant because it was so big he could store his beer in the costume and he didn’t have to carry it. Danny Drinkwater, Ben Hamer, Matty James and Andy King were dressed as Ninja Turtles and I was Mr Incredible.
“The hotel wasn’t too far from the busiest square in Copenhagen. We stopped there to have a drink and then we went to Tivoli Gardens, which is the world’s oldest theme park and it marks the centre of Copenhagen. But everyone thought we were part of the attractions so kids were stopping us and wanting pictures with the Ninja Turtles.
“With Copenhagen being such a small city, if something like that happens, the papers are going to find out very quickly so we had some great photos. There is one of Robert Huth dressed as the best Batman ever. We were sat at dinner and Huthy is sat there looking for trouble that he is going to sort out. If we are doing something we are going to do it properly.”
Pride, joy and pure ecstasy
It’s 2 May, 2016 and second-place Tottenham are playing rivals Chelsea in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge. If Spurs fail to win, leaders Leicester will be crowned champions of England for the first time in their history. The visitors are leading 2-0…
Schmeichel: “All the way through the run-in I hadn’t watched a single Tottenham game so I went with my wife and kids for dinner and tried to block it out. I was a mess in the restaurant and my wife found it hilarious. It was horrible, so we ended up going home with half an hour left. I took the kids to bed and my wife came in to say goodnight and she told me Tottenham were 2-0 up, so I thought I might as well watch it.
“I went to the lounge and Gary Cahill scored so I told myself to stay calm. Then Eden Hazard equalised but the last few minutes were torture. Chelsea had a late free-kick that Willian was going to take, which he passed into the corner, and the relief when he did that was unbelievable.
“It was pride, joy and pure ecstasy. I can’t describe it. I celebrated with my family, who I wanted to be with, because they had been with me through the whole journey. A lot of the lads were at Jamie Vardy’s house so when we were done at home I drove to Jamie’s and we got on it from there.
“For Leicester, it was incredible and we wanted to see what was happening so we drove into town. Four or five days later, ‘Vards’ put a few pictures in our group asking who the cars parked at his house belonged to, because no one had been to claim them.”
The moment it all changed
It’s 12 May, 2013 and Leicester have been beaten in the final minute of their Championship play-off semi final at Watford. Anthony Knockaert could have put the Foxes through in injury-time but his penalty is saved, before Watford go down the other end and Troy Deeney scores with practically the last kick of the game…
Schmeichel: “The spirit that was built in the club started in the Championship with Nigel Pearson, where we trained very hard, but off the pitch we could have a laugh. Having had that camaraderie is great and a lot of us had played together for a long time. It helped us that we were such good friends off the pitch as well.
“There is no doubt that Watford game was horrific in so many ways. I have never seen it back. Because Watford were renovating their stadium, the tunnel was still at the far end where they scored. Then the pitch invasion happened and half of our team was stranded at one end and the other half ran back in the dressing room.
“It lasted for over an hour and we were in the dressing room for so long that we didn’t see each other properly after the game because some people were caught out there.
“So we didn’t see each other until the first day of pre-season, but from the first day, everyone was in ridiculous shape and people had been stewing all summer. This had hurt and the mentality was we were going to hammer this league, and that is what we did.”