The best-supported and most successful club in English rugby, Leicester Tigers is a name known throughout the rugby world.
Formed in 1880 by the merger of three city clubs, by the time they moved to Welford Road in 1892, Leicester had adopted red, white and green hooped jerseys and the Tigers nickname was born.
Welford Road hosted its first international fixture in 1902 and became a regular stopping-off point for touring teams as well as the annual Christmas fixture against the star-studded Barbarians.
The national knockout cup was rugby’s biggest prize before league competition and a trip to the final became a regular event. From the defeat in the 1978 final, Tigers did not taste defeat again in the competition until the 1982 semi-final, lifting the trophy in three successive years.
When leagues were introduced, Tigers became the first champions in 1988, added the National Knockout Cup in 1993 and ’97, and the league again in 1995.
The club’s most glorious spell followed with four successive league titles from 1999 and successive years. When leagues were introduced, Tigers became the first champions in 1988, added the National Knockout Cup in 1993 and ’97, and the league again in 1995.
The club’s most glorious spell followed with four successive league titles from 1999 and successive European Cups in 2000 and 2001.
More glory lay in store in 2003 when Martin Johnson captained England to Rugby World Cup victory in Australia alongside six other Tigers coached by Clive Woodward, a centre in the club’s cup wins a generation earlier.
The next chapter in Tigers history was written in 2006/07 when the team reached the final of all three competitions, winning a League and Cup double but falling just short in the European final at Twickenham.
Three more titles followed, with Tigers winning a 10th league crown in 2013 with former player Richard Cockerill in charge and the success has seen support reach higher levels than ever with attendances averaging more than 22,000 in 2014/15 and the next stage of redevelopment taking capacity up to 26,000 at one of the most iconic rugby venues in the game.
Tigers have always been proud of developing their own, with current players Dan Cole, Tom Croft, Manu Tuilagi, Ben Youngs and Tom Young following in the footsteps of Johnson in flying the flag for club and country as well as wearing the colours of the British & Irish Lions.