How many cities can boast teams in the top flight for football, cricket and rugb
How many cities can boast teams in the top flight for football, cricket and rugby? Proud son-of-Leicester Jon Holmes, who recently helped the football team out of administration, tells TheFA.com why the city's sports fans deserve to host tonight's international between England and Serbia and Montenegro Like his most famous client Gary Lineker, sports agent Jon Holmes was born-and-bred a Leicester City fan.
A year ago, they gathered a consortium together to help ensure their beloved football club would have a future.
With promotion back to the Premiership achieved, Jon can now sit back and enjoy tonight's game between England and Serbia and Montenegro at the Walkers Stadium - the first time Leicester has staged a full international.
A 32,000 sell-out is expected and that comes as no surprise to Holmes, who is well aware of the sporting passion in his hometown.
"How many cities can boast a team in the football Premiership, the rugby Premiership and cricket's First Division County Championship?" he declares.
The answer is just three - London and Manchester, both world-famous centres for sport, and Leicester.
"Fans in Leicester get behind their team as much as anywhere else and a lot of supporters will follow the Leicester teams in all three sports," explains Holmes
"I was brought up by my father as a Leicester City season ticket holder and went to the cup finals in 1961, 1963 and 1997. He has been to every cup final in the club's history."
Holmes says the England players can expect an educated crowd when they meet Serbia and Montenegro as preparation for the Euro 2004 qualifier against Slovakia.
"The Leicester public are very loyal and never get too excited if things aren't right on the field.
"It isn't the Leicester way to go mad with 20 minutes left if the team is losing. If you look at the history of the football club, they don't sack too many managers.
"I didn't have any doubts the public would turn up in their thousands to watch England in their home city.
"The gates have been astonishing in the new stadium - we have just achieved the highest average attendance since 1958."
Holmes was chairman of the football club last season when Mickey Adams led the team to promotion.
He has recently relinquished the role with the rescue package complete but will clearly remain a fan.
When the club's financial situation was perilous, another of Holmes' clients - local Leicester lad Emile Heskey - put in £50,000 to help out.
Holmes says Heskey will be given a heroes reception on Tuesday.
"He is still immensely popular in the city," he says. "Emile went to the City of Leicester School where Gary Lineker had been. He was part of the Martin O'Neill side that really put Leicester City on the map."
When Heskey went to Liverpool in 2000 for a club record £11million, the Leicester fans wished him well. "People understand where they are," says Holmes.
Behind him Heskey left so many happy memories - in fact Leicester was the sporting place to be in the mid-1990s.
Besides the football Worthington Cup triumph in 1997 - Heskey scored a last-gasp equaliser against Middlesbrough at Wembley to set up a replay where Steve Claridge netted the winner - Leicestershire's cricketers under skipper James Whitaker and his West Indies vice-captain Phil Simmons won the County Championship in 1996 and 1998.
The Leicester Tigers started dominating rugby with their Pilkington Cup triumph in 1997 and many of the players in that team, like Martin Johnson, Austin Healey and Neil Back, are still around today.
Leicester Tigers won four league championships in a row before this season and are the best-supported rugby club in the country with average gates of around 13,000.
An England football international is seen in the city as justice for their population's devotion to sport.
"It has added to the excitement created by promotion and the new Walker's Stadium," acknowledges Bill Anderson, who has just completed his 29th season as the Leicester Mercury's Leicester City reporter.
"The passion for football in Leicester was really boosted by Martin O'Neill who dragged them up by their bootlaces in the 1990s. There is a similar spirit now, the club couldn't buy any new players but won promotion against the odds. It was like the underdog years again.
"The fans started hitting the phones for England tickets as soon as this game against Serbia was announced."
DID YOU KNOW: There is a statue in the middle of a Leicester acknowledging the trophies won by the football, rugby and cricket teams in the mid-1990s.
Jon Holmes was talking to Joe Bernstein