Monthly Archives: December 2016

Boxing Day Blues for Leicester

Leicester City 0:2 Everton

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Two second half goals for Everton ensured a miserable Boxing Day for Leicester fans…

It was an unfamiliar line-up for City, with Vardy, Huth and Fuchs suspended, and Mahrez and Drinkwater on the bench. Okazaki, Gray, Wasilewski and Chilwell all made the starting XI.
City got off to a decent start, Amartey tested Robles with a long range effort, and then Gray received a clearance from Schmeichel, combined well with Albrighton and made room for a shot that went wide of the right hand post.
Everton were happy to sit back and let City have possession, and the game became deadlocked, notable only for a superb debut from Chilwell, who was solid in defence and a threat going forward.

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The visitors began to push forward towards the break and created a couple of chances, Funes Mori heading over from close in, before Baines fired a low ball across the area that evaded  the outstretched boot of Mirallas by a couple of inches.
So it was 0-0 at the break, with an understrength City side having just about edged the half.
Sadly that didn’t continue. With Drinkwater on for Okazaki, City attempted to apply some early pressure, but were hit with a sucker punch on the break in the 51st minute.
A huge clearance from keeper Robles saw Mirallas racing between Morgan and Wasilewski before sliding home a shot which was diverted past Schmeichel as Wasilewski attempted a late block.

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City went in pursuit of an equaliser, but were making little impression going forward.
Claudio Ranieri made a couple of changes in the 64th minute, bringing on Mahrez for King and Ulloa for Gray. Boos rang out from the stands, with many fans thinking that Slimani should have been hooked, rather than Gray.
Ulloa’s first touch saw him get his head to a Simpson cross, but his effort went straight into Robles’ hands.

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City struggled to create any clear cut chances after that, and Everton put the game beyond them with a second goal in injury time.
A ball from Barkley found Lukaku on the right, and he outmuscled Morgan before turning Wasilewski insideout and slotting past Schmeichel.

Claudio Ranieri commented: “We were in control but suddenly there was a long kick and we reacted a little late and they scored. After that we were nervous, and controlled the match much better. This season is this way – nothing is right, nothing is easy. We have to work and react. That’s our medicine. We have to stay together in the bad moment.”

City are now in a relegation battle and desperately need something from the West Ham game to end what was their greatest ever year on a high note.

Leicester: Schmeichel; Simpson, Morgan, Wasilewski, Chilwell; Gray (Ulloa 64), Amartey, King (Mahrez 64), Albrighton; Okazaki (Drinkwater 45), Slimani. Subs Not Used: Hernandez, Musa, Zieler, Mendy.
Everton: Joel, Baines, Funes Mori, Williams, Holgate, Coleman, Barry (Davies 68), Gana, Mirallas (Barkley 75), Lennon (Cleverley 88), Lukaku. Subs Not Used: Hewelt, Jagielka, Deulofeu, Valencia.

Referee: S Attwell. Attendance: 31,985.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber. 
———————————————————————
The Champions cards that we produced to celebrate City’s greatest achievment in the
history of all sport, ever, have now sold out. But do not despair if you didn’t manage to lay your hands on a set. We have now made them available as an A4 sized print which you can have either framed, or the print on its own to frame yourself…frameThe framed print costs £11.80 inc postage — pay via Paypal HERE
while the unframed one is £6.50 inc postage — pay via paypal HERE 
or send a cheque or cash to our new address:
The FOX,
22 Cosby Road,
Littlethorpe,
LEICESTER
LE19 2HF.

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Ten man Leicester make their point at Stoke

Stoke City 2:2 Leicester City

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Despite some harsh decisions from referee Craig Pawson, City battled their way to a glorious point at Stoke on Saturday with a late equaliser form Daniel Amartey.

Claudio Ranieri made two changes to his side, with Schmeichel back from injury and Simpson returning from suspension.
Schmeichel was soon in action as Stoke enjoyed a good opening spell and the Danish keeper did well to block a Walters effort from close in with his leg.
There was another good save at the other end as Grant tipped a looping header from Huth over the bar at full stretch.
Grant was called into further action saving a low shot from Slimani and a deflected effort from Vardy, before a fierce Fuchs volley was blocked.
City had their tails up now, but events were about to take a turn.
Just before the half hour, Vardy was shoved over by Johnson as went in for a challenge on  Diouf. He won the ball as he went down, but referee Craig Pawson very harshly judged it to be dangerous play and wielded the red card.

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Ten man City were on the back foot for the remainder of the half and Pawson helped them with their breakthrough in the 39th minute.
As Simpson slid in to try and block a cross from Bojan the ball struck his right hand. Another harsh judgement saw Pawson pointing to the spot, before booking Simpson for something he couldn’t do anything about.
Bojan blasted the spot-kick past Schmeichel to give City an uphill task.
Things were to get worse before half time. Pawson developed Yellow Fever and now every Leicester foul was a booking. King, Slimani, Fuchs and Albrighton all followed Simpson into the book in a surreal spell, and then Stoke grabbed a second with almost the last kick of the half. Imbula crashed a shot against the right hand post, the ball rebounded off Schmeichel and Allen was presented with a tap in.
It was now surely a damage limitataion exercise, as the City players, and even Claudio Ranieri, raged at Pawson as the sides left the field.

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Fortunately, City managed to channel their anger into something much better.
Stoke came out looking for a third that would see City dead and buried, but Schmeichel produced a brilliant save to deny Walters’ firm header from 8 yards and Morgan got a good block on a Pieters volley.
Ranieri made his first changes in the 72nd minute, bringing on Gray and Ulloa for Albrighton and Slimani, and it had an instant effect. within two minutes Gray delivered a fine cross from the right and Ulloa rose at the far post to nod it over line. Although it had been cleared by Shawcross, goal line technology soon confirmed that the ten men were back in the game.
Gray then attacked down the left flank, cut in and fired in what was an on target effort before it was deflected over the bar.
City continued to press forward, determined to get a point, and it arrived with two minutes remaining. Fuchs swung a ball into the box and Amartey rose above the Stoke defence to nod home his first goal for the club, sparking riotous scenes of celebration in the away section.

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In injury time Whelan blasted a 20 yard shot goalwards, but Schmeichel was equal to it, and the ref’s whistle heralded a famous point for City.

They had reacted brilliantly to the car crash of a first half, and although they will be left to count the cost of suspensions, this could prove to be a turning point in the season.

Claudio Ranieri revealed:“During half time we spoke a lot and we continued to believe that something would be possible. They made a fantastic performance.”

Stoke: Grant, Johnson, Shawcross, Martins Indi, Diouf, Whelan (Ramadan 90), Imbula, Pieters, Allen, Bojan (Adam 83), Walters. Subs Not Used: Given, Bony, Shaqiri, Crouch, Ngoy.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs, King, Amartey, Mahrez (Musa 80), Albrighton (Gray 72), Slimani (Ulloa 72), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Zieler, Chilwell, Mendy, Okazaki.

Referee: C Pawson. Attendance: 27,663.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber. 
———————————————————————
The Champions cards that we produced to celebrate City’s greatest achievment in the
history of all sport, ever, have now sold out. But do not despair if you didn’t manage to lay your hands on a set. We have now made them available as an A4 sized print which you can have either framed, or the print on its own to frame yourself…frameThe framed print costs £11.80 inc postage — pay via Paypal HERE
while the unframed one is £6.50 inc postage — pay via paypal HERE 
or send a cheque or cash to our new address:
The FOX,
22 Cosby Road,
Littlethorpe,
LEICESTER
LE19 2HF.

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Champions Framed Prints – Christmas Deadline

The Champions cards that we produced to celebrate City’s greatest achievment in the
history of all sport, ever, have now sold out. But do not despair if you didn’t manage to lay your hands on a set. We have now made them available as an A4 sized print which you can have either framed, or the print on its own to frame yourself…
If you want them as a Christmas present (and who wouldn’t?) then you need to order them in the next couple of days.
frame
The framed print costs £11.80 inc postage — pay via Paypal HERE
while the unframed one is £6.50 inc postage — pay via paypal HERE 
or send a cheque or cash to our new address:
The FOX,
22 Cosby Road,
Littlethorpe,
LEICESTER
LE19 2HF.

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Leicester take a step backward at Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth 1:0 Leicester City

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Leicester failed to build on Saturday’s win over Manchester City, losing 1-0 at Bournemouth on Tuesday night…

Claudio Ranieri made one change to his side, with Hernández in for the suspended Simpson, but they produced an unrecognisible perfomance from Saturday.
Bournemouth had all the early possession, with City happy to sit back and let them have it.
The Cherries first chance arrived when Francis beat Hernández and Mahrez with ease down the left and flashed a ball across the goalmouth, which just eluded two red shirts.
City’s first chance came soon after that when Mahrez sent Vardy through on goal, but Boruc came racing out to block.
Slimani then wasted a decent chance before the game settled into a midfield battle with virtually no action near either goal, before Zieler saved a long range  Wilshere effort.
City applied some pressure around the half hour mark, with a series of corners and long throws from Fuchs and  Hernández, but the Bournemouth defence were dominant in the air. A fierce Huth shot blocked by Ake was the closest they got to goal.
This led to the only goal of the game in the 34th minute, as the home side finally broke upfield. Although Zieler made a fine save from an Afobe shot, Pugh was following up to blast the rebound home.

The second half saw an improved performance for City, with Okazaki on for Slimani, but they couldn’t find a way through a determined Bournemouth defence.
Headers from King and Huth missed the target, as did an Okazaki shot on the run.
Okazaki then burst through the Cherries back-line down the right but Cook got in a fine last ditch block on the Japan international’s shot.

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The best opportunity for City to get an equaliser came late on, when a Vardy cutback from the right saw substitute Ulloa shooting from six yards, but Boruc produced a fine save to protect Bournmouth’s three points.

Claudio Ranieri claimed not to be too disappointed with the performance: “The result is too severe against us because we created more chances than Bournemouth but they won so well done to them. I wanted a little more in the first half because if we had a little more we could have scored a goal. We could have recovered more second balls for this reason. The second half was much better.”
But a single point from City’s travels this season suggests that a different approach is needed for away games.

AFC Bournemouth: Boruc, Francis, Cook, Ake, Daniels, A. Smith, Arter, Wilshere, Pugh, King (Gosling 79), Afobe (Wilson 68). Subs Not Used: Federici, Mings, B. Smith, Ibe, Gradel.
Leicester: Zieler, Hernández, Morgan, Huth (Ulloa 81), Fuchs, Amartey, King, Mahrez, Albrighton (Musa 73), Slimani (Okazaki 45), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Hamer, Chilwell, Mendy, Gray.

Referee: P Tierney. Attendance: 11,068.

———————————————————————
The Champions cards that we produced to celebrate City’s greatest achievment in the
history of all sport, ever, have now sold out. But do not despair if you didn’t manage to lay your hands on a set. We have now made them available as an A4 sized print which you can have either framed, or the print on its own to frame yourself…frame
The framed print costs £11.80 inc postage — pay via Paypal HERE
while the unframed one is £6.50 inc postage — pay via paypal HERE 
or send a cheque or cash to our new address:
The FOX,
22 Cosby Road,
Littlethorpe,
LEICESTER
LE19 2HF.

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Vardy hat trick sees Leicester humble Man City

Leicester City 4:2 Manchester City

Leicester City v Manchester City, Premier League, 10 December 2016

Leicester finally discovered last season’s level of performance with a 4-2 dismantling of Manchester City at a rain-swept KPS on Saturday evening…

Claudio Ranieri made ten changes to the line-up who were thrashed in Porto, while Pep Guardiola was missing Aguero and Fernandinho after last week’s bust up against Chelsea.
Against a back drop of constant rain, Leicester started this game in determined fashion, and delighted a soaking wet crowd with a third minute goal.
After good work from Mahrez, Slimani threaded a ball between Stones and Kolarov and Vardy raced through to place a precise finish across Bravo, his first goal in 16 games.

Leicester City v Manchester City, Premier League, 10 December 2016

If this was a great start for Leicester, it was to get even better three minutes later.
Slimani claimed another assist, teeing up King on the edge of the area for a fine curling effort that eluded Bravo’s grasp.
The home crowd went wild, sensing that last season’s City were back at last.

Leicester City v Manchester City, Premier League, 10 December 2016

Leicester continued to press against a shell-shocked looking City.
Mahrez threatened with a dangerous run, while Slimani volleyed a decent chance over the bar.
Just as the visitors managed to get a hold on the game, and started probing at City’s defence -de Bruyne sending a shot narrowly wide – Vardy struck again in the 21st minute.
It was superb goal, out of the 2015-16 handbook. A 60 yard ball from Fuchs was magically cushioned into the path of Vardy by Mahrez, and the England striker glided past Bravo and rolled the ball into the net.
Mahrez then went past two players before curling in a shot that forced Bravo into a decent save.
The visitors managed to mount some pressure of their own towards the break, but City’s defence were alert and efforts from Kolarov, de Bruyne and Fernando were all blocked.
Leicester might have gone in at the break 4-0 up, but Slimani’s header from a fine Albrighton cross missed the target.

Leicester City v Manchester City, Premier League, 10 December 2016

Despite the three-goal cushion, there was still an air of tension as Man City dominated possession and created plenty of chances after the break.
Zabaleta and De Bruyne had shots blocked before De Bruyne dragged a shot wide when well placed.
Iheanacho then had a shot saved by Zieler and Gundogan fired narrowly wide before Guardiola  introduced Sterling and Yaya Toure to the game.
The one-way traffic continued with Zabaleta seeing his shot deflected wide by King, before the defence were given a breather when Slimani pushed forward and tested Bravo with a 20 yarder.
Ranieri brought Okazaki on for Slimani in the 77th minute, and Leicester went 4-0 up within a minute.
Stones attempted a pass back to Bravo, but Vardy seized upon the ball, took a touch round the City keeper, and then slid the ball in off the far post from the tightest of angles. It was an inch over the line when Sagna cleared it.
Vardy’s goal drought was emphatically over, and this was his first hat trick for Leicester, each one finished with surgical precision.

Leicester City v Manchester City, Premier League, 10 December 2016

Only when the game was won did Leicester finally concede a goal, Kolarov beating Zieler with a 22 yard curling free-kick that found the top right hand corner with 8 minutes remaining.
Vardy was given a standing ovation when replaced by Gray with three minutes left, before Nolito applied a finishing touch to Kolarov’s low cross to further reduce the arrears.
Mahrez then made way for Matty James, making his first appearance since a serious injury in May 2015.
The final whistle was greeted with a huge roar of approval.
It was City’s finest performance of the season, achieved without midfield lynchpin Danny Drinkwater or Kasper Schmeichel, and proved that the spirit of 2015-16 is still in there somewhere.

Claudio Ranieri told the post match press conference: “It was the true Leicester today, maybe because we have played so badly in our last few matches, but today we were so strong. We wanted to do best for our fans because they support us a lot and travel to Portugal and we did not play so well. For this reason we wanted to show our best.” 

Leicester: Zieler, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs, Amartey, King, Mahrez (James 90), Albrighton, Slimani (Okazaki 77), Vardy (Gray 87). Subs Not Used: Hamer, Chilwell, Mendy, Musa. 
Man City: Bravo, Sagna, Zabaleta, Fernando, Gundogan (Nolito 67), Kolarov, Navas (Sterling 58), De Bruyne, Silva, Stones, Iheanacho (Toure 58). Subs Not Used: Caballero, Sane, Clichy, Adarabioyo.
Referee: Michael Oliver. Attendance: 31, 966.

 

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber. 
———————————————————————
The Champions cards that we produced to celebrate City’s greatest achievment in the
history of all sport, ever, have now sold out. But do not despair if you didn’t manage to lay your hands on a set. We have now made them available as an A4 sized print which you can have either framed, or the print on its own to frame yourself…frameThe framed print costs £11.80 inc postage — pay via Paypal HERE
while the unframed one is £6.50 inc postage — pay via paypal HERE 
or send a cheque or cash to our new address:
The FOX,
22 Cosby Road,
Littlethorpe,
LEICESTER
LE19 2HF.

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The FOX Issue No 201 – on sale today

The 201st edition of The FOX – The Leicester City Fanzine will be on sale before this evening’s game against Manchester City…

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Featuring: an interview with former City striker, Alan Smith; Fully Programmed from November 1975; Fox Diary – it’s all gone a bit wrong; the latest from the Foxes Trust; the trip to Copenhagen via the medium of #lcfc Twitter; The History of Leicester City in 100 Objects; Rewind goes back to March 2014 – Kapser’s Ghost Goal; Foxed in the Head – on Christmas at Lewis’s, things you find in sheds and Kenny Burns; ‘Of Fossils & Foxes ‘ reviewed; John Hutchinson’s series on Following the Fosse tracks all the club’s former gorunds; your letters and Bentley’s Roof; Parting Shots our favourite photos of the last month; and FiftySomthing goes to Copenhagen…

copenhagen-copy

all for less than the price of a pint…

Alan Smith Interview extract…

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FOX: It’s fair to say that it took the side a while to find their feet, losing the first six matches. These days that would surely mean the manager would be sacked, but Gordon Milne held onto his job and things picked up…

AS: It’s important for a newly promoted side to get that first win to gain a bit of confidence, to stop that feeling that you are good enough for a higher level creeping in. I don’t think I scored for about ten games. Once that first win came it did start to happen and we gained in confidence. We weren’t exactly pushing for Europe but we were quite comfortably placed in the end.

FOX: The first point came at the end of September at home to Stoke in a 2-2 draw, but you lost several teeth for the cause…

AS: Yes, I’d controlled the ball on my chest and as it popped up to head height Steve Bould, with his long legs, tried to kick the ball away from behind and he caught me in the face. I didn’t realise straight away but he’d kicked my four front teeth out. As I sat there I was watching Mark Chamberlain picking teeth up off the pitch and showing them to the ref and I didn’t even realise they were mine because I couldn’t feel anything and I was in a bit of shock.
I went to the side of the pitch and Gerry Summers, the coach, said: “Oh you’re alright Al, get back out there.” I said: “I’ve lost all my teeth!” So I came off. I was taken to the Leicester Royal Infirmary and because they had all come out by the roots they put them back in for me. Bouldy became one of my best mates at Arsenal and I always gave him stick for it. Him and his size thirteens.

FOX: Wasn’t your girlfriend a dental nurse at the time?

AS: Yes, she was, but there wasn’t a lot she could do about it!

———————————————————————
The Champions cards that we produced to celebrate City’s greatest achievment in the
history of all sport, ever, have now sold out. But do not despair if you didn’t manage to lay your hands on a set. We have now made them available as an A4 sized print which you can have either framed, or the print on its own to frame yourself…frame
The framed print costs £11.80 inc postage — pay via Paypal HERE
while the unframed one is £6.50 inc postage — pay via paypal HERE 
or send a cheque or cash to our new address:
The FOX,
22 Cosby Road,
Littlethorpe,
LEICESTER
LE19 2HF.

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Unfamiliar Leicester line-up thrashed by Porto

FC Porto 5:0 Leicester City

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Group G winners Leicester were humbled by Porto at the Estádio do Dragão on Wednesday night, a much-changed side losing 5-0…

Although City’s final group game was a dead rubber, there were eyebrows raised among City fans around Porto when ten changes were made to Claudio Ranieri’s side.
The City manager told reporters he wanted the chance to look at his back-up players and also rest most of the first team for  the visit of Manchester City.
But it was disappointing for those who had spent a lot and time and money travelling to Portugal for what looked like a nailed-on defeat.

Sure enough, City were camped in their own third from very early on. Hamer had to make his first save from Brahimi after five minutes.
A minute later the Dragons took the lead, when poor marking from Schlupp allowed Silva to nod in a corner from 8 yards.
The result was never in any doubt after that. Three minutes later Jota sent a shot on the run narrowly wide of the left hand post.
After more pressure City conceded a second in the 26th minute. Telles swung a cross in from the left and an unmarked Corona had plenty of time to line up a fine volley into the top right hand corner.
With Porto keeper Casillas hardly getting a touch, the home side continued to press forward. Following off-target efforts from Brahimi and Torres, the third goal arrived in the 44th minute. Periera got round City’s back-line down the right and delivered a low cross that was met by Brahimi’s near post back-heel past Hamer.

Ranieri made two changes at half time with Musa and Schlupp replaced by Ulloa and Albrighton, and there was an immediate improvement.
Albrighton sent a cross over for Okazaki, who couldn’t get decent contact with a header, before Gray attempted a curling shot that went a couple of yards wide.
Drinkwater then crossed for Okazaki, who saw his header from 10 yards out saved by Casillas.
Thoughts of any kind of Leicester fight-back were dispelled in the 64th minute, when the ref spotted Drinkwater tugging Silva’s arm in the area and he pointed to the spot.
Silva himself, a Leicester target last summer, stepped up and sent Hamer the wrong way to make it 4-0.

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Soon after this City’s night got even worse when Drinkwater went down with what looked like a knee injury. After some lengthy treatment he played on for a short while before being replaced by development squad player Harvey Barnes, who contributed well during his short debut.
City’s goal difference was reduced to +1 in the 77th minute  when Jota danced through the defence with ease before firing Porto’s fifth through Hamer’s legs.
City best chance arrived in the 88th minute when an Ulloa header from a corner was blocked by a defender. The loose ball fell for the Argentinian again, but his shot shaved the crossbar and there was nothing for City’s large following to cheer.
The final whistle was a blessed relief, with City’s 5-0 defeat being a record for an English side in the Champions League.

Claudio Ranieri commented: “I wanted to give a great chance to our players but it was too easy for Porto. I am very, very sad. OK, we can lose, but not in this way. The fault is mine, I put all my players out to show what they can do. The result is my fault, it is important to be clear about this.”

If Ranieri was looking for players who could be brought into the first team, possibly with the African Nations Cup exodus in mind,  what he saw may have sent a chill up his spine.

It shouldn’t be forgotten that, despite this sad last chapter, City topped Group G with a game to spare and it was a fabulous adventure…

Porto: Casillas, Maxi Pereira, Marcano, Brahimi, Andre Silva (Rui Pedro 78), Alex Telles, Corona (Herrera 76), Diogo Jota, Danilo (Reuben Neves 76), Felipe, Oliver Torres. Subs Not Used: Jose Sa, Noly, Evandro, Layun.
Leicester: Hamer, Hernández, Wasilewski, Morgan, Chilwell, Gray, Mendy, Drinkwater (Barnes 76), Schlupp (Albrighton 46), Okazaki, Musa (Ulloa 46). Subs Not Used: Amartey, Simpson, Zieler, Fuchs.

Referee: Felix Zwayer. Attendance: 39,310.

———————————————————————
The Champions cards that we produced to celebrate City’s greatest achievment in the
history of all sport, ever, have now sold out. But do not despair if you didn’t manage to lay your hands on a set. We have now made them available as an A4 sized print which you can have either framed, or the print on its own to frame yourself…frame
The framed print costs £11.80 inc postage — pay via Paypal HERE
while the unframed one is £6.50 inc postage — pay via paypal HERE 
or send a cheque or cash to our new address:
The FOX,
22 Cosby Road,
Littlethorpe,
LEICESTER
LE19 2HF.

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