Leicester City (King Power Stadium)

Next on the list of football grounds was, so far, comfortably the biggest of the lot, Leicester City’s Walkers Stadium.

Except it’s not. It’s the King Power Stadium or some crap like that. It’s a frightening glimpse of the problem with just naming a ground after a sponsor. What will the Emirates be when they eventually up sticks and a new person puts the money into Arsenal? Unfortunately for the new guy, it’ll still be the Emirates.

Anyway, this evening’s trip to Leicester was exciting. The gig was fine but a new ground to add to the list was the most pressing attraction and I was driving home with fellow comic and generally good egg John Whale. I mentioned as we were walking out of the venue that I’d like to go home via the Walkers Stadium, just to get a couple of snaps.

“I’m not driving so I can’t really oppose it, but I do strongly oppose it,” came the almost instantaneous reply. I mentioned nothing more then as we got to the car he realised I was serious. We got in the car, fired the sat nav up and began to take a 2 mile detour towards Gary Linekar’s spiritual home and suddenly John began to get excited. We were on our way.

It was delightful to see, even though he constantly tried to hide it. We arrived at the stadium which was plunged in darkness and as I got out to get a couple of snaps John refused to get out of the car. Suddenly his excitement of three minutes earlier had evaporated into childish mocking and outright petulance.

I got out of the car to take in our surroundings, John stayed in the car eating crap food from a local petrol station. There’s not a lot to be said about Leicester’s new home, especially in the dark, which is a shame as I wish John had missed loads. It looks nice and fancy and big, and had loads of people milling around; the car park was full despite it being 11.30pm on a Thursday night.

I tried to be quick to avoid further aggravation from my guest, who frankly should have been more fucking grateful of the lift and at least offered to take a few photos for me. So what can I say about Leicester? Part of it was locked, part of it was busy and part of it was covered in really odd-looking bright blue tiles.

The tiles are presumably an attempt to give the ground character which it totally lacks, but nonetheless it was nice to tick another stadium off the list and get back on the road before John actually broke out into tears.

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