Leicester in La Manga-style high jinx and match-fixing shock

Football treasure unearthed by Gary Silke & Derek Hammond

In April 1909, Leicester Fosse, already relegated from Division One, managed to equal a league record getting thumped 12-0 at neighbours Nottingham Forest.

Apparently it could have been far worse had Fosse netminder (and Olympic gold medallist) Horace Bailey not played a blinder. Spouncer, Hooper and West all helped themselves to hat-tricks against a Fosse side that played so badly that the Football League ordered an enquiry.

This was held in the Grand Hotel, Leicester, and it swiftly got to the root of the matter.

Almost the entire Fosse side were suffering from stinking hangovers. The day before the game they had attended the wedding celebrations of former team-mate Bob ‘Leggy’ Turner. Recently transferred to Everton, Turner returned to Leicester for his wedding and his old pals did him proud, embarking on a marathon drinking session that left them all heroically legless.

Three days after the Forest game a sobered-up Fosse played Everton at Goodison, and that ingrate Turner helped the Toffees to a 4-2 victory…

The Football League accepted the collective hangover as a legitimate excuse and took no further action…!

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