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It could be worse - where are they now?

OK, so the play-offs may be all but over. But we knew that anyway, didn't we?

To make us all feel a little better about ourselves, here's a look back at one team from a not-too-distant history which will restore spirits almost immediately.

And believe me, a look at this lot would make anybody be happy with what they have. This tells only half the tale (see part two later today for details)...

Stoke 0-0 Leicester

Sunday 4th May 2008.

You know what happened. So where are those players now who famously helped us on our way down to the third tier for the first time ever?

Paul Henderson

Flap! Error! Danger! It was never dull when Henderson was in goal, whatever you might remember. And rarely for the right reasons. All in all, he was rubbish.

Now: A 34-year-old journeyman plying his trade in native Australia with Central Coast Mariners, via North Queensland Fury, Sydney Olympic and Newcastle Jets.

Richard Stearman

Perhaps one of the few success stories from this disastrous era, the youth academy product left the Foxes in the aftermath of relegation to Premier League Wolves.

Now: A regular in Mick McCarthy's Wolves side, who City could well be facing next season if they don't book their ideas up.

Bruno N'Gotty

Oh Bruno, wherefore art thou? Signed under the hopeless Martin Allen on a free transfer after his Birmingham deal expired, things never went well.

In fact, the Frenchman was a Milan Mandaric signing. Funny that. Played 38 games that season before disappearing into the abyss.

Now: Without a club, most likely retired in his twilight years. Made his last competitive appearance on loan for Hereford in 2008.

Gareth McAuley

A popular figure during his two-year spell at the Walkers Stadium, the centre-back was another to be sold on in the aftermath of relegation.

Now: The Foxes picked up a handsome fee for the Northern Ireland international from Ipswich, where he continues to reside as a permanent fixture at Portman Road.

Joe Mattock

I've got an idea! I'm going to lodge a transfer request while my team are playing a pre-season friendly and I'm on international duty!

With Nigel Pearson infuriated, Mattock departed to West Brom for a fee of around 1 million back in 2009.

Now: After never holding a first-team spot down at The Hawthorns, Mattock can now be seen pitching up at relegation-bound Sheffield United on loan. Smooth move, Joe.

David Bell

When Leicester signed the Irishman on loan from Luton Town, there was a reasonable level of expectation that maybe he could be the man to help the Foxes avoid the dreaded drop.

He wasn't. Six appearances later, Ian Holloway's team were down and Bell's proposed Walkers move was off.

Now: Incredibly still in the Championship, albeit as a bit-part player for struggling Coventry.

Harry Worley

Still to this day, Foxes fans were left baffled by Holloway's decision to include the youngster at the heart of midfield for their biggest game of the season.

For a start, he was a centre-back by trade. Second of all, he'd made only one previous first team appearance. Despite all of this, Worley was perhaps one of the few players to come away from the match with credit.

Now: Never made the grade with City, but now a regular with League Two side Oxford United.

James Wesolowski

So much was promised of the young Australian, before injuries sadly hampered his Foxes career.

Successful loan spells at Cheltenham, Dundee United and Hamilton Academical ensued as Wesolowski tried to get his City career back on track, but it wasn't to be.

Now: Finally enjoying a first team run with promotion chasing Peterborough United in League One.

Matt Oakley

The former Southampton midfielder joined Leicester on a hefty January deal from then Premier League Derby, but failed to live up to expectations alongside Stephen Clemence in this particular campaign failure.

Now: Still a member of Sven-Goran Eriksson's first team, looking somewhat rejuvenated in the defensive midfield berth.

Barry Hayles

Signed by Holloway from former club Plymouth for around 150,000 in January of the season, Hayles arrived at the Walkers having hit 13 league goals in 37 starts for Plymouth the previous season.

Hayles quickly became a cult hero at Filbert Way, but for the wrong reasons entirely after a comical year in front of goal.

A shinned late winner against Crystal Palace was the only highlight of an otherwise forgettable spell for the Jamaican.

Now: Strutting his stuff for Truro City in the Southern League Premier Division.

Steve Howard

Snapped up from Derby shortly before the arrival of team mate Matt Oakley, Howard joined with a 1.5 million price tag and a heap of expectation on his shoulders.

Unfortunately for him, none of it materialised. A super hat-trick away at West Brom looked to have given City fans what they'd expected from the off, but the big striker scored in just three of his other 20 appearances that year.

Now: Still at the club having extended his contract to June 2012 in October.


Matty Fryatt:

This was a season to forget for the man the Kop eventually grew to adore. The unfit forward had scored just twice in 30 league appearances in the campaign to add to the paltry 3 in 32 the season before.

Things didn't look good. But League One proved the blessing in disguise we'd all been waiting for, Fryatt found the net for fun and the rest is history.

Now: Made a 1.2 million switch to Hull, linking up with former boss Nigel Pearson in the process. Found the net 9 times in his 18 league appearances for the Tigers so far this season.

Ashley Chambers

The youngster was brought on in a ridiculous last minute substitution at the Britannia with Leicester desperate for a goal.

A product of the club's youth academy, Chambers holds the record of being City's youngest ever player.

Life at the Walkers has been tough, however, and Chambers has never managed to stamp his authority on first team life.

Now: On loan at York in the Blue Square Premier from the Foxes.


So there you have it. Make sure to tune in to part two later today, where trust me, it gets a whole lot worse. Or better, whichever way you look at things.

Just remember the days we lined up with a front three of Mark De Vries, Elvis Hammond and Carl Cort, and be very, very thankful.

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Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: JBFox Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday April 19 2011

Time: 10:00AM


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