Forsooth! Joy for Richard III as Leicester shock world

• May 4, 2016 • Tags: ,

There was no shortage of superlatives on Tuesday after little Leicester City were crowned champions of the world’s richest soccer league. New fans sprung up worldwide overnight, but few could explain the season’s extraordinary events.

A Bangkok monk said the power of Buddhism had lifted the Thai-owned club to victory, while some fans closer to home gave thanks to King Richard III, saying his reinternment in Leicester last year had sparked the magic. In a soon-to-be-published book “King Power”, which also happens to be the name of the group that owns the soccer club, a re-imagined Richard III offers his Middle English analysis of Leicester’s rise to glory under manager Claudio Ranieri.

The author, who writes under the king’s pseudonym, answered questions from Reuters in language somewhere close to that of another icon from the English Midlands, William Shakespeare, who wrote the tragedy Richard III and who died 400 years ago.

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Leicester’s fortunes changed the day you were reinterred — how much credit do you take for that? ‘Tis not a prince’s way to brag or boast, so I beg your grace’s pardon if I demur. All I shall say, when asked if king power brought this miracle to pass, is this: look upon the facts and figures pursuant on my reburial, mayhap they speak eloquent enough for themselves.

At what point in the season did you dare dream Leicester could win the Premier League title? When did I dare perchance to dream? ‘Tis hard to be exact upon the point. Being a superstitious prince I would not tempt fate with outlandish hope too soon. The short answer is when we turned over Man City 3-1 at their place back in February, when my Foxes went five points clear of chasing hounds.

How is it that Jamie Vardy has been such a prolific striker this season, when last term he was booked more than he scored? ‘Tis a mystery to me, as ’tis to you. For who can see into another’s mind or heart? That villainous scribe Shakespeare tried that trick with me, yet ne’er came close to unravelling the truth. All we know is that Jamie Vardy has been having a party for nigh on nine months – and that this gestation period is itself, God willing, about to whelp the party to end them all!

What is the secret to the team spirit that lifted Leicester to the title? ‘Tis insolence unbound to ask a king a secret to divulge, so I would not tell you even if I knew. But I will speculate a while, and say that all were discards, misfits and seeming mediocrities before as stars in Leicester’s glittering firmament they were reborn. And so they were bereft of the ego, conceit and queenly tantrums that foster discontent among more vaunted squads. A wonderful bunch of lads, forsooth, on whom may the Lord smile.

How will Leicester fare on their European travels next season? s‘Tis ne’er easy, as any medieval king will tell ye, when battle is joined across the seas. Yet under Ranieri’s wise aegis, I feel we shall prosper in Champions League, for he is most well-travelled and knows the European game inside out. Not that we want Barcelona or Bayern in the opening round.


King PowerReproduced courtesy of Reuters:

King Power: Leicester City’s Remarkable Season is published by 4th Estate on 16th May 2016
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