Founded in 1880, Leicester Tigers or, Leicester Rugby Club, has celebrated many years of success, becoming among the most talked about and well-known rugby clubs across the globe.
In 1987, when League Rugby was introduced, the Leicester Tigers became the most successful team or club in English rugby, where they won the league 10 times in a row. They last won the Aviva Premiership title in the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
Appearing in nine successive Premiership finals, while retaining 6th position or higher in this league, the Leicester Tigers are 1 of only 4 teams to never be relegated from this top division. They are also the only British side to qualify to participate in every European Champions Cup.
Supported significantly by a large following of fans, the Tigers hold an extremely enviable position in this game across Europe and at home, and have managed to set an excellent example for many other clubs to aspire to.
Welford Road is the home grounds of the Tigers, which was built between Welford and Aylestone Road. It turned into the home grounds for this club in 1892 when these grounds opened officially with the first game against Leicester Rugby Union. With a crowd of only 1,100 people watching the game, the Tigers won 17-0.
Thirty years later The Crumbie Stand was built, named after Tom Crumbie the secretary of the club. One year later, there was a terrace added and extensions made to the Members’ Stand. This increased the capacity of the ground to a far larger 10,250.
This expansion almost forced the club into bankruptcy, but it played a role in attracting a few of the top players in the country, laying a foundation for future success for this club, especially during the 1920s and 1930s.
Today the stadium has a capacity of 26,000, which has made it the biggest purpose-built union ground for club rugby in the UK. In the year 2015, the capacity was increased to 30,000, where the existing clubhouse was demolished, and replaced with a temporary stand with a 3100 capacity housing a brand new clubhouse, and VIP premium lounge.
In the early part of the 1970s, this club only had 600 to 700 members, but after the Tiger’s cup final successes over the next 10 years, the club started to expand very quickly.
Many players and supporters, associated the overall expansion of this club with Chalkie White. He joined the club in 1968, and with his forward-thinking attitude and unique coaching style, brought this club massive success, helping them to attract a far wider following.
The Leicester Tigers were really thriving by 2000, securing the Premiership title for 4 years in a row from 1999 to 2002. They also became the very first team to dominate the European Cup in successive seasons.
They also secured 57 unbeaten wins at home from 1997 to 2002, which included an impressive 62 successive wins. Out of 92 games that they played over 4 seasons, they only lost 14 games.