Local 'Foxes' fan celebrates victory

By Mike Dinsdale

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Lifelong Leicester City fan Karen Morunga, from Kaikohe, was celebrating yesterday after the "Foxes" won the English Premier League. Photo / Lindy Laird
Lifelong Leicester City fan Karen Morunga, from Kaikohe, was celebrating yesterday after the "Foxes" won the English Premier League. Photo / Lindy Laird

Karen Morunga left her home town of Leicester when she was just 10-months-old, but the Kaikohe woman is a "true blue" Leicester City fan and yesterday was celebrating the team's fairytale win in the English Premier League.

Leicester City were crowned EPL champions - England's champions football team - for the first time in their 132-year history when main rivals Tottenham Hotspur were held to a 2-2 draw away to Chelsea. The result sparked major celebrations in Leicester and around the world and the team that started the season as 5000-1 outsiders for the title were crowned champions with two games of the season left.

Last season Leicester only just escaped relegation so the title this year is even more remarkable, especially with a team of players hardly known globally before the season started. To put the win into context it's like Northland rugby team winning the national provincial championship.

Mrs Morunga said after years of getting grief from other football fans - including husband Gerry (who supports Arsenal) and one of her sons Josh (Man United) - over the team she supported, she can finally give some back.

When the Northern Advocate caught up with her yesterday Mrs Morunga had just got back from work and had received the call from Josh that Spurs had only drawn. She started celebrating immediately and contacted family members in the UK who were getting ready to party large in the town.

"I've always had digs about my team, people saying who's Leicester, but I've been a true blue fan all along, regardless of how well, or not, they were doing," Mrs Morunga said.

"We left Leicester when I was only 10-months-old, but I've been back a few times and made sure I've seen the team play while I've been there..and they never lost when I saw them. This is just awesome, great for Leicester and the club. "

Husband Gerry even rang her up from work to congratulate her on the win. "He had a bit of a big lip on him that Leicester won, but he still congratulated me when he rang up. It's just been magic really and finally Leicester has something to shout about."

But City winning the football title wasn't the only reason for the East Midlands town to celebrate yesterday, with another of its favourite sons - Mark Selby - winning the World Snooker Championship in a dramatic match against China's Ding Junhui. Selby - a big football fan - held up his Leicester City flag on live TV after his win.

"It's just incredible to have both win on the same day. There will be a big party in Leicester tonight and many of my cousins will be there too."

And Leicester has now given hope to sports fans of less fashionable teams the world over after its astonishing rise.

Also yesterday, Whangarei's Go Go Espresso was decorated in blue and white (the team's colours) and gave out free coffee to anybody wearing a Leicester shirt with owner Toni Saunders "a Leicester girl."

- Northern Advocate

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