Leicester City Women: History, Stadium, Key Players & Team Success

In their relatively short existence, Leicester City WFC have gone from obscurity to being a widely recognised name in women’s football. Their promotion to the Women’s Super League in 2021 saw them reach the highest level of the English game for the first time in their history. This is quite an achievement for a side that was playing in the Leicestershire Country League less than two decades prior!

We will now take you through Leicester’s impressive rise through the English football ranks as well as giving you a complete overview of the club as things are currently.

History of the Leicester City Women

Leicester City LogoWhen Leicester City Women formed in 2004, they had no official ties to Leicester City FC. This was not a club-backed endeavour, but rather a team consisting of amateur players assisted by volunteers. The club was able to attract good players for the level though and this saw them win the Leicestershire County League, Unison East Midlands Southern League, Unison East Midlands Premier and Midland’s Combination League. Four promotions for any team is impressive enough, but Leicester managed this across four successive seasons, such was their strength at these lower levels.

Leicester’s reward for four consecutive promotions was a place in the Women’s Premier League Northern Division. At the time this league sat on the second tier of the footballing pyramid but the creation of the Women’s Super League (WSL) in 2010 ended up bumping it down one. Leicester did apply to be one of the teams to form the new WSL but despite their third-place finish in the 2009/10 season, their bid was rejected.

Two more back-to-back third-place finishes saw the club narrowly miss out on promotion to the National Division but they were firmly knocking on the door at this point. For a team that had been title contenders for three solid years, it was a shock to see the Foxes finish rock bottom with just four points during the 2012/13 season. It was the team’s first-ever taste of relegation, marking a low point in the club’s short history.

Recovery & New Highs

Leicester City Women
James Boyes | Flickr

After winning every Midlands Division One game in 2015/16, Leicester managed to get themselves back into the Women’s Premier League (Northern Division) for the 2016/17 season. The Foxes recorded a third-place finish on their return, followed up by a second-place finish the following year.

These two impressive finishes helped Leicester’s bid to join the FA Women’s Championship. Having been accepted, the Foxes found themselves back in the second tier for the 2018-19 campaign. After two consecutive mid-table finishes, Leicester ended up winning the Championship title in 2021 and subsequently secured a place in the 2021/22 Women’s Super League for the first time ever.


King Power logoFor many years, Leicester City Women only had some informal cooperation with the men’s team and the two were not officially part of the same club. This changed in 2020, however, when King Power, the parent company of Leicester City FC, decided to buy the women’s team. This enabled the women’s team to become fully professional and was a huge reason behind their Championship title win in 2020/21.


King Power Stadium
King Power Stadium (Pioeb | Wikipedia)

Before the takeover of 2020, Leicester Women used to play their home games at Farley Way Stadium, the home of Quorn FC, with its small 1,400 capacity. They now however play at the same place as the men, the King Power Stadium, provided there is no scheduling clash with the men’s team. If there is a clash, the men take priority and the women move to the home of Burton Albion, the Pirelli Stadium. Both arenas, but particularly the King Power, are huge improvements on the small grounds where Leicester have spent much of their history playing.


Leicester do not boast the following that some of the larger WSL teams enjoy but spectator sizes are still significantly higher than what they were. Typically, a strong crowd for a Foxes home game will see 4,000+ in attendance to watch the action and they average around 2,500 for a WSL fixture. This is better than some other teams in the league and is a number likely to gradually increase if the Foxes can retain their top-tier status for several seasons.

Key Players

Lena Petermann
Lena Petermann (Steffen Prößdorf | Wikipedia)

Leicester’s promotion to the WSL in 2022 and their subsequent (narrow) survival has enabled them to attract a calibre of player previously not seen at the club. Their squad had become increasingly global and consisting of players with experience on an international stage.

  • Lena Petermann – One of these international players is Lena Petermann, who has represented Germany over 20 times. Picked up from Montpellier, where she scored 26 goals in 48 appearances, the German looks like being one of Leicester’s big goal threats during her time in the Midlands.
  • Jutta Rantala – Another player who made her debut during the same match as Petermann (1st October, 2023) is the Finnish international Rantala. The forward has hit the ground running at the club, posting some impressive numbers, including goal contributions (6 in 649 minutes at the time of writing).
  • Janina Leitzig – Goalkeepers do not often get the attention they deserve but it is hard not to notice Leitzig. Leicester do not have the most solid of defences, so the 23-year-old often finds herself with plenty to do. She is so often up to the task though and this is why she won the Player of the Season and Players’ Player of the Season award while on loan in 2022/23.
  • Aileen Whelan – This list would not be complete without mentioning team captain Wheelan. The 30-year-old has extensive WSL experience and is versatile enough to play in a number of positions. She featured in every game of Leicester’s debut WSL season and without her, they could well have finished in the relegation zone.

Cup Success

We have spoken about the six league titles Leicester have secured but they have also enjoyed lots of cup success too. Although their cup wins vary in terms of prestige, it is still a collection for them to be proud of.

Competition Times Won
Leicestershire & Rutland County FA Cup 9
Leicestershire County League Cup 1
Unison East Midlands Southern League Cup 1
Unison East Midlands Premier League Cup 1

Unfortunately for the Foxes, they are no longer eligible to compete in any of these competitions, so do not expect these numbers to increase any time soon – if ever. Instead, Leicester now only take part in the Women’s FA Cup and League Cup. A major cup win has not been especially close yet, but they did reach the semi-finals of the League Cup in 2020/21 before being knocked out by Bristol City.

Leicester City Ladies

Slightly confusingly, an entirely separate team called Leicester City Ladies FC exists. No connection to Leicester City Women, which is an independent club, established in 1966. In 2017-18 they sat just a tier below their local rivals but whereas Leicester WFC earned promotion to the Championship, LFC finished rock bottom of Midlands Division One after managing just one win and one draw. Today Leicester City LFC play their football in the East Midlands Womens Regional Football League (Div 1 South).

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