There are only two sports teams I know of who have a direct historical link with another (apparently unrelated) organisation.
One of them started life as the Sports Club of a world famous Electronics company – and the connection is in the three letters it is most commonly known by. Yes – ladies and gentlemen – Philips Sport Vereniging Eindhoven (better known as “PSV Eindhoven”) started out as – and is literally translated as – “Philips Sports Club Eindhoven”.
However, I digress.
You may know Leicester has got two pretty famous sports teams with “animal” connections. Leicester City Football Club is known as the “Foxes” (I think this may be a corruption of their original name of “Leicester Fosse”). The Rugby club is known as “Leicester Tigers”.
There was once an Army Regiment in Leicestershire which became known as the “Tigers Regiment” (I think it had something to do with fighting in India at some point). The Tigers Regiment had barracks on the site of what is now HM Young Offenders Centre Glen Parva (which is actually in South Wigston).
The Leicester Tigers Rugby team were named after the Tigers Regiment (the Tigers Rugby team have got a tiger’s face as their logo).
I must admit that I have never been a big fan of Rugby Union. However, I did manage to accidentally get a brilliant view of a Tigers’ match at one time. I had gone to visit my Mum when she was an inpatient at Leicester Royal Infirmary. The bed she was in was next to a window overlooking the Welford Road stadium in Leicester – where the Tigers play their home matches. (When Leicester City FC still played at Filbert Street, Leicester, any injured players only needed to be transported across Walnut Street before they ended up at the side of the Infirmary.)
It is surprising how seemingly unrelated things can have a stronger link than you might imagine. That sports team with a strange name (or nickname), the company who apparently merely sponsors a team but closer investigation reveals the “Sponsor” is actually where the club started, or, the link between the Criminal Justice system, the Military, and a sports team.
Come to think of it – Leicester Tigers have had links with the Police (Dean Richards was a Police Officer before he turned into a Professional Rugby player), the Army (named after the Tigers Regiment), and the Royal Air force (Rory Underwood was in the RAF).
Just out of interest – when the King Power stadium (home of Leicester City FC) had just been built – it very narrowly escaped having what I actually think would have been a very appropriate name for it. At that point Leicester City FC were still sponsored by the Leicester-based Walkers Crisps. The original name for what is now the King Power stadium was going to be “The Walkers Bowl”.
I just wish Leicester Tigers could do something about the name of their ground to make it reflect the history of the club more.