English Soccer Team Pulls Off 5,000-to-1 Miracle

The odds on finding Elvis were better than Leicester's
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 3, 2016 1:03 AM CDT
English Soccer Team Pulls Off 5,000-to-1 Miracle
Leicester fans watch their local heroes at a pub.   (Joe Giddens)

Leicester City players crowded around a television inside the house of teammate Jamie Vardy, locked arm in arm, watching the action 100 miles away. And when the final whistle blew at Stamford Bridge, they raised their arms in triumph. One of the greatest sporting achievements in English history was complete. In the second tier two years ago, in a relegation fight last season, a 5,000-to-1 long shot last summer, Leicester is now alongside Manchester United, Liverpool, and the other clubs that can call themselves champion. The Foxes clinched the most improbable title of the Premier League era when second-place Tottenham was held to a 2-2 draw with Chelsea on Monday night, the AP reports. With an insurmountable seven-point lead with two games remaining, Leicester is champion of England for the first time in the team's 132-year history.

As recently as 2008-09, Leicester was in third-tier League One, the equivalent of a Double-A baseball team filled with prospects. Just two years ago, captain Wes Morgan and many of his teammates were playing in the far-from-glamorous second-tier League Championship. One bookmaker, Sky Bet, said it paid out $6.8 million to those who backed Leicester to win the title, with 128 putting money on the team at 5,000 to 1. The BBC notes that at the start of the season, things that British bookies considered more likely than Leicester winning the league included Elvis Presley turning up alive and well, which was 2,000 to 1; Kim Kardashian becoming president, also 2,000 to 1; and the Loch Ness monster being discovered, which was 500 to 1. (More English Premier League stories.)

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