Maps | Media | Walking Tour
In May 2016 Leicester City Football Club (LCFC) for the first time in their 132-year history were confirmed as champions of the Premier League. ‘Vardy was having a party’ and spraypaint artist Richard Wilson was already thinking about adding the word ‘CHAMPIONS’ to his portrait of manager Claudio Ranieri on the back wall of an electricals showroom in Leicester. The city’s football team had defied the logic of 5000-1 odds and completed one of the greatest underdog stories in sporting history. To mark this feat, and inspired by Richard Wilson’s efforts, more murals in public spaces were painted around the city in the summer of 2016 to celebrate different aspects of the story of the ‘Fearless Foxes’. Information about the murals is presented here in one place for the first time along with creative documentation in video and photography. You can even go on a walking tour to see the artworks for yourself!
This is the home of the LCFC Murals.
‘Earthquake’: 87 Burnmoor Street
The large mural ‘Earthquake’ on the corner of Lineker Road is on the end wall of the house at 87 Burnmoor Street (part of a terrace called Allandale Houses dated 1905) close to where Burnmoor Street joins Brazil Street. The painting was created by various artists as one of the set of ‘Forever Fearless Murals’ commissioned by GraffHQ and financially supported by Leicester City Council. The mural’s theme is that of the crowd as the ‘12th man’, the idea that the influence of the support of the fans, particularly the noise they can generate, can equate to having an extra player on the field. The sound of the crowd is referenced through the visualisation of an audio waveform on the mural at the apex of the roof. The rest of the painting is a scene from the stands with a crowd of people, many of them raising their hands and opening their mouths to sing and shout. “WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS, CHAMPIONS OF ENGLAND”, BLUE ARMY and RICHTER SCALE are the words accompanying the blue-shirted fans represented on the wall.
Along one side of Lineker Road near where it joins Filbert Street, a long length of hoarding provides a temporary fence along the edge of waste ground. The hoarding has been decorated with graffiti art consisting of a background of tessellated geometric fox faces in the Leicester colours of blue, yellow and white. Against this background, the names of the players from the Leicester City squad have been tagged in large lettering. Lineker Road was a new road created and named in October 2014 when the developers of the old Leicester City football ground site at Filbert Street honoured the ex-Leicester City footballer and England captain Gary Lineker. The Foxes Trust, the Leicester City Supports Trust, ran a poll about who should have the road named after them and Gary Lineker topped it. Lineker Road snakes around the Unite Students Filbert Village buildings and beside an abandoned car park. However, most of the hoardings were blown over, possibly by Storm Doris in February 2017. Since then, the hoardings have been repaired, made a legal site, and repainted.
Thorpe Street (19 Braunstone Gate)
The mural on the corner of Thorpe Street and Braunstone Gate is on a wall of the Pegasus Fitness Factory premises (19 Braunstone Gate). The painting was created as part of a community project that also included mini-garden landscaping. The week of painting and gardening in June 2016 was planned by the Braunstone Gate Community Forum, the charity Sustrans and Soft Touch Arts, as part of the ‘Braunstone Gate Places for People’ project. The mural itself was designed by the Forum and pupils at Shaftesbury Junior School and painted by volunteers. The mural celebrates LCFC’s premiership win and highlights the local multicultural community referenced in the painting through different national flags. It includes local landmarks including the King Power Stadium, the River Soar and Bede Park. The project was funded by People’s Health Trust, using money raised by Health Belief through The Health Lottery and Leicester City Council. The Braunstone Gate Places for People project supports the community in coming together to help make Braunstone Gate a more welcoming place to be.
‘Wall of Legends’: Kate Street
The mural on Kate Street is the most well-known and monumental of all the LCFC murals created to celebrate the 2015-16 Premier League-winning season and the mural that inspired the idea of making further murals around the city. It is situated at Kate Street on the rear and side wall of the Marks Electrical shop which fronts at 111-115 King Richards Road. The creation of the mural is a standout story in itself in the context of the making of all the LCFC murals completed in 2016 and the must-see destination on the LCFC Murals Tour. The Kate Street mural was painted by spraypaint artist Richard Wilson between April and June 2016. Richard is a van driver based in Harrow, London who creates graffiti art in his spare time. Captivated and enthused by the underdog story unfolding at the time and prior to the confirmation of Leicester City as champions, Richard came to Leicester to find a wall to paint a portrait of the club’s manager Claudio Ranieri as a tribute. Fortunately he found a location where the owner, Mark Smithson, was a Leicester City sponsor and supporter and therefore very receptive to the artwork’s initial creation and its subsequent expansion to include large portraits of 12 players (Kasper Schmeichel, Danny Simpson, Wes Morgan, Robert Huth, Christian Fuchs, Marc Albrighton, Danny Drinkwater, N’golo Kante, Riyad Mahrez, Shinji Okazaki, Jamie Vardy and Andy King) – the ‘Wall of Legends’. After completing his 4m portrait of Ranieri and a Leicester City flag, Richard returned on Tuesday 3rd May 2016 to add the word ‘CHAMPIONS’ and to paint his team. The making of the mural is documented on Richard’s blog and the mural has a tribute page.
‘Football United’: 17 Tudor Road
The ‘Football United’ mural is located on the end wall of the Surrey Villas terraced house at 17 Tudor Road. Painted directly on to the surface of the wall, it was one of the murals to be painted in the first phase of the GraffHQ and Leicester City Council ‘Forever Fearless’ project. The painting was created by artists N4T4 and PHILTH. The mural celebrates ethnic diversity under the ‘Footbal United’ motto. Realistic portraits of fans from different ethnic backgrounds are framed by cultural and religious symbols and international flags. Smiling faces beam out at the traffic and pedestrians passing by on the busy street that makes its way toward St Nicholas Circle and onward into Leicester city centre.
‘Claudio Caesar’: 3 Bath Lane
‘Ranieri (Roman Leicester mural)’ is painted on a panel on the end wall of 3 Bath Lane, a property belonging to Brucciani’s which is used as a craft bakery, part of a family business that has been based in Leicester since 1937. Like the ‘Football United’ mural at Tudor Road, it was one of the murals to be painted in the first phase of the GraffHQ and Leicester City Council ‘Forever Fearless’ project. The mural fronts onto St Nicholas Circle, a place busy with traffic, and it pays a tribute to the Leicester City manager who led the team to the championship by portraying him as the bust of a Roman Caesar poking its head through a classical portico. Underneath the figure of ‘Ranieri Caesar’ is written ‘VENI • VIDI • VICI’ – ‘I came; I saw; I conquered’, a Latin phrase popularly attributed to Julius Caesar. The painting was created by artists VOYDER and INKIE and its approach to the subject matter chimes grandly and appropriately with the cultural background of the Brucciani family and the nationality of Ranieri himself – the ‘Caesar of St Nicholas Circle’!
‘Comic Book Heroics’: 30 East Bond Street
The mural at 30 East Bond Street is on the Arcus Apartments building on the wall facing The Cherry Tree public house. Completed in August 2016, it consists of five panels fastened to the wall and painted in a comic book style referencing Roy of the Rovers. This was the fourth mural in the series of murals commissioned by GraffHQ and Leicester City Council. The panels refer to memorable goals scored in three key matches (Newcastle 0-3 LCFC, LCFC 3-0 Stoke City, Man City 1- 3 LCFC), Claudio Ranieri’s ‘Dilly Ding, Dilly Dong!’ catchphrase and the moment that the Premier League trophy was raised aloft to salute the crowd for the first time by captain Wes Morgan and Ranieri.
‘Fearless Fox’: Silver Walk
The small mural panel on the wall at the entrance of Silver Walk from Silver Street opposite the Pink Pigeon Vintage shop depicts a ‘Fearless Fox’ as an eyeless geometric beast with snarling teeth. It was painted by Birmingham-based self-taught artist Annatomix as a reward for Leicester’s home of independent shops, St Martin’s Square, who supported her Kickstarter project that ran between 8th January and 8th March 2016. The project was run to help fund her self-employment as an artist. Continuing the funding trend, it is now a favoured spot for people living on the streets to sit and welcome spare change from passers-by.
‘I’m on Fire’: Clephan Building (Oxford Street)
‘I’m on Fire’ is a large 12m mural painted on a wall belonging to De Montfort University’s Clephan Building facing Oxford Street. Hidden from the traffic flowing away from it, but not from the LCFC fans walking to the King Power Stadium, it is a mash up of LCFC-supporters Kasabian and Jamie Vardy with the band at the top of the composition below a Foxes badge, above the lyric ‘I’m on Fire’ in 3D lettering, and underneath a flaming Jamie Vardy belting a ball beyond the frame of the football ground behind. The song ‘Fire’ by Kasabian is currently used as the music played when LCFC score a goal at their home ground. The mural was one of the final three murals to be created in August 2016 as part of the GraffHQ and Leicester City Council ‘Forever Fearless’ project. The painting was created by INKIE and VOYDER who also created the ‘Claudio Caesar’ mural at Bath Lane. Kasabian played in Victoria Park as part of the victory celebrations and so the mural captures the relationship between the band and the team and its leading goal scorer, and taps into the burning glow of the victory parade.
The large mural (75 square metres) on the northern end wall of Newarke Houses Museum on The Newarke is painted as a tribute to the owners of Leicester City FC who are from Thailand. The imagery includes the three headed elephant, Erawan, referring to former Thai kingdoms, a tiger, monk, Buddha and Foxes logos. However, because the building is Grade II* listed, the proposal was controversial since a number of objections were raised at the planning meeting. As a condition of the planning approval, however, the mural will be in place for a maximum of two years before the wall must be restored to its original condition (a blank wall). The location on The Newarke was chosen by the council because of its prominent position in the city centre. It was designed and painted by local artist Leigh Drummond (MONO) in August 2016. It was the final of the murals commissioned by GraffHQ and funded by Leicester City Council. Leigh also painted the Leicester Tigers mural on the corner of Walnut Street opposite the Leicester Tigers’ stadium.