Who Is Leicester’s Highest Ever Goalscorer?

Leicester have enjoyed a golden age over the past 10 years, even if they were relegated to the Championship for the start of the 2023/24 season and, at the time of writing, have just been charged by the Premier League in relation to financial regulations. But nonetheless, for a club of their size, winning the Premier League, playing in the Champions League (and making the quarter finals!), and then adding an FA Cup victory in 2021 are all remarkable achievements.

In that time they have relied on the goals of the brilliant Jamie Vardy and he has been with the club since 2012. He’s witnessed so many ups and downs and is perhaps the player most closely associated with the Foxes over the past 10+ seasons. But is Vardy the club’s record goalscorer? And if not, who is? And who else ranks among the club’s finest goal-getters during their 140-year history?

Magnificent 7 Centurions: Leicester’s 7 Highest Scorers of All Time

Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy (Whassuo | Wikipedia)

Vardy is not the club’s top scorer of all time but he does at least merit a place on the podium. He’s 37 now, and as we will see, there is some gap between him and the men above him, so we do not anticipate him altering his current place in the Leicester pecking order. So, who is the top goalscorer for the Foxes? Here are the magnificent seven Leicester players who have scored 100 or more goals for the club in all competitions.

1) Arthur Chandler, 273 goals in 419 games

Arthur Chandler played for Leicester before the Second World War and as with so many players from that era, does not always get the credit he probably deserves. He holds numerous goalscoring records for the Foxes, with the most total strikes, plus the most in the league and joint-most in the FA Cup, and also the most in the top flight of English football. He is also tied for the record for most consecutive matches scored in, with eight, and also banged in a Leicester-record 17 hat-tricks. In fact, of those, he actually scored four goals on one occasion, five an incredible three times and even six in one game!

His 419 appearances between 1923 and 1935 also put him seventh in terms of most games played for the club and he is undoubtedly a Leicester legend. His scoring records may be surpassed one day, but no time soon, that is for sure.

2) Arthur Rowley, 265 goals in 321 games

Completing an Arthur 1-2 we have Arthur Rowley, who played for the Foxes from 1950 to 1958 and in that relatively short frame of time managed to fire home 265 Leicester goals. He falls just short of Chandler in total goals but played far fewer matches for the club and his goals-to-games ratio of 0.83 is the best achieved by any of Leicester’s significant goalscorers.

He is tied with his namesake when it comes to FA Cup goals, both Arthurs having netted 14 in that competition. However, almost all of his league goals came in the second tier, and his tally of 208 is a club record at that level. His 44 goals during the 1956/57 campaign is also a Leicester-best for a single season and Rowley, from not-too-distant Wolverhampton, is another whose records will take some serious beating.

3) Jamie Vardy, 185 goals in 454 games

Next up we have Leicester’s most recent goal king, Jamie Vardy. Vardy’s pace and deadly finishing, plus his energy and ability to lead the press from the front, have made him invaluable to Leicester in the 21st century. Prior to moving to the club, for the bargain price of just £1m excluding subsequent add-ons, the Sheffield native had only ever played at non-league level.

Leicester’s brilliant recruitment team clearly saw his potential though and he ended up playing 26 times for England, bagging seven goals, including five in 10 games in 2016. At club level, he was such a key part of all the success of the last decade and his 24 Premier League goals in 36 games in the 2015/16 campaign played a huge role in Leicester’s against-the-odds title triumph. He also won the Premier League Golden Boot award in 2019/20, his 23 league goals that term making him the oldest player to win that award.

4) Ernie Hine, 156 goals in 259 games

Ernie Hine was a contemporary of Chandler and played for the Foxes from 1926 to 1932 and boasts the third-best goals-to-games ratio of any of the club’s leading marksmen. Hine scored four goals in six games for England and along with Chandler and another Arthur Lochhead (see below) formed a deadly forward line that helped Leicester finish second in the 1928/29 top flight.

5) Derek Hines, 117 goals in 317 games

Derek Hines turned out for Leicester alongside Arthur Rowley, their careers overlapping during the 1950s, with Hines playing for the Foxes from 1948 to 1961. Born in nearby Derbyshire, Hines was almost a one-club man, making a handful of appearances for Shrewsbury at the end of his career.

6) Arthur Lochhead, 114 goals in 320 games

As noted, Lochhead played alongside Chandler and Hine, his Leicester career spanning the years from 1925 to 1934. Lochhead was a Scot who had served in the First World War and the Foxes signed him from Man United, who in turn had bought him from Hearts (for the princely sum of £530 plus another player). He went on to manage the club and is another who more Leicester fans should probably have greater awareness of.

7) Gary Lineker, 103 goals in 216 games

Lineker went on to much bigger and better things than Leicester, scoring 40 goals in a season for Everton and then top-scoring at the 1986 World Cup to earn a move to Barcelona and then also playing for Spurs. However, the BBC presenter and pundit was born in Leicester and proudly and vocally supports the club so scoring over 100 goals for them must have been a dream for him.

He won the Second Division title with the Foxes in 1979/80, even though he was only a bit-part player in that campaign and the top-flight one that followed. However, come 1981/82 he was an integral part of the side and in the four seasons that followed, the last two in the top flight, he scored 17, 26, 22 and then 24 league goals.

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