JUST IN : Bristol City midfielder sent 4 words massage to Leicester city ahead of their match on Saturday,

Andy King is aware that a cocktail of emotions awaits him at the King Power Stadium on Saturday, and that his first visit to Leicester City, the club that moulded him, as an opposing player is certain to trigger memories. “It’s going to be strange,” says the Bristol City midfielder, who took on the position of player-coach this summer. “I believe it will be emotional.” There was a lot of delight and pain at that stadium; Vichai’s helicopter [accident] was there, and that guy altered my life. I’m looking forward to taking the field, and in my thoughts, for a brief second,

reliving all of those amazing memories that made me who I am. Maybe I’ll go back out there and have a moment with myself after the game.”

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King’s 16-year association with Leicester, which began in digs on Aylestone Road after impressing on trial as a 15-year-old during February half term and culminated with him lifting the Premier League trophy, came to an abrupt end in July 2020. Coronavirus restrictions denied him the opportunity to say farewell to the familiar faces who helped him on his journey. “The advice was like ‘travel if absolutely necessary’, wasn’t it? So as much as I wanted to go back, me going back to say bye to the people behind the scenes – those who worked in the kitchen at the training ground for 10 years or the stadium staff – it was not essential.” This weekend though, he stresses, will not be akin to a testimonial. “It is not a sort of parade for me to go back to Leicester. I want Bristol City to win.”

King lived the highs and lows of Leicester’s rise from League One to mixing it with Europe’s elite, via the pain of Yann Kermorgant’s penalty miss, the agony of ‘Deeney-day’ and, of course, the unthinkable. He scored on the day Leicester lifted the title, when the 5,000-1 story came to fruition. Leicester beat Everton 3-1, with Jamie Vardy – at whose house in Melton Mowbray the Leicester players gathered on the evening they sealed the crown in 2016 – scoring twice. Andrea Bocelli performed Nessun Dorma before the trophy lift. “Still when I hear that tune, I think of that magical day,” says King, 35 next month. “I have a photo with the man-of-the-match award, my medal around my neck and the Premier League trophy in my right hand … what more could you want from one day?”


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