Leicester’s billionaire Thai owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha has left nothing to chance in the hunt for success this season.
Like most Thais, he is a Buddhist and believes in the power of meditation.
So he has enlisted the help of monks from the Wat Traimit Withayaram Woraviharn (Golden Buddha) Temple in Bangkok.
Every time Leicester play at home, a group of monks, led by assistant abbot Phra Prommangkalachan (pictured) are flown to the UK, and assemble at a shrine inside the King Power stadium, complete with Buddhist hangings and statues.
There, they say prayers for the team and spend the game in meditation, offering spiritual support from the side.
The team play at King Power stadium, named after the King Power Duty Free chain from which Thai owner and chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha derives his £2billion wealth.
But their fortunes are spookily linked to another king, Richard III. On March 24, 2015, Leicester had only 19 points from 29 games, and seemed doomed to relegation.
The following day, King Richard III was buried with full honours in the city’s cathedral, after his body was found beneath a local car park.
Within days, Leicester City started winning – seven out of the last nine games of 2014-15. They comfortably avoided the drop and have not looked back.
Manager Claudio Ranieri (left) made his players an offer in September: if they could get through their next game without giving away a goal he would take them all out to Leicester’s Peter Pizzeria.
At the start of the season Leicester were scoring lots of goals, but they were conceding plenty, too.
So in September, manager Claudio Ranieri, made his players an offer: if they could get through their next game without giving away a goal he would take them all out to Leicester’s Peter Pizzeria.
Sadly the offer failed to inspire the lads. They kept leaking goals. ‘Maybe they don’t love pizza,’ sighed Ranieri. ‘I think they wait until I improve my offer: ‘Okay a pizza and a hot dog.’
Then, on October 24, Leicester beat Crystal Palace 1-0. True to his word, the pizzas were on Ranieri.
But, as he later explained, ‘I had a surprise for them when we got there. I said, ‘You have to work for everything. You work for your pizza, too. We will make our own.’ So we went into the kitchen with the dough and the cheese and the sauce.’ Since then, Leicester have been all-but impregnable, keeping 14 more clean sheets.
Last night, the team gathered to watch the match at striker Jamie Vardy’s £1million eight-bedroom home in Melton Mowbray.
Ranieri, meanwhile, found the time to fly to celebrate his mother’s 96th birthday. He returned by private jet in time to see the match.
Today, Vardy was pictured laving his home after the night’s revelry. He told the Leicester Mercury: ‘It’s an unbelievable feeling. I’ve never known anything like it. We were scrapping to stay in the league last season and on Saturday we’ll be lifting the trophy.
‘That gives you an idea of how much hard work has gone into this season from every single player and member of staff.
‘It’s the biggest achievement in the history of a great club and we all feel privileged to be part of it.’
Eden Hazard’s 83rd minute strike was greeted with an explosion of cheers and spilled pints in the Midlands and most likely across the country as neutrals also basked in Leicester’s fairytale.