Come on Leicester! DMU students and staff unite under one giant blue banner

Come on City! Students and staff from De Montfort University (DMU) united under one banner today to cheer on Leicester City, who are just a win away from one of the greatest achievements in sporting history.

City face Man United at Old Trafford on Sunday and DMU today officially unveiled a 31ft high banner cheering on the Foxes on the eve of their biggest ever game.

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It hangs above the entrance to the Hugh Aston Building, home to the university’s Faculty of Business and Law, and overlooks the city’s inner ring road where it can be seen each day by thousands of commuters.

The banner has attracted national media attention appearing in features on Sky Sports News, Sky’s Sunrise breakfast show and in The Guardian.  

A crowd of students and staff gathered at the banner on Friday to mark #backingtheblues day, a campaign led by BBC Radio Leicester and the Leicester Mercury which has called on the city and county to come together in a massive show of support by wearing blue.

Around a third of DMU’s 22,000 students come from the city or county, while the other two thirds, like the rest of the country, are also backing City to win the title.

De Montfort Students’ Union (DSU) has announced it will be open from 1pm on Sunday in time to show the game live at 2pm and organisers are planning big celebrations if the result goes City’s way.

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People at the banner were confident Sunday would be City’s day.

Second year marketing management student Kwaku Darko said: “Last season we just survived and avoided relegation now I am telling everyone we are going to win the league. It is crazy. There’s been no other football story like it.”

Lifelong City fan Mike Anderson, a DMU administration assistant and season ticket holder, said: “Up until Christmas I was going along for the ride but I really haven’t enjoyed the season since February because we now have something to lose. I am just so nervous. But I think we will finish the job.”

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Jo Rushworth, a senior lecturer in biochemistry at DMU, said: “I just came back from Milan yesterday and when everyone was checking my passport and saw I was from Leicester they were saying “Come on Leicester”. Leicester has been put on the map and it is great in terms of attracting students to the city.”

DMU librarian Jo Wood said: “We all feel part of something. There is a really special atmosphere in the city and it unites us all.”

DMU has also liaised with Leicester City Council to be able to floodlight its Trinity House building in blue this evening and has put a blue wash on the pictures on the front page of its website.

The university has also changed its social media icons blue so that messages to its 51,000 Facebook followers and 32,000 Twitter followers around the globe will show DMU is #backingtheblues.

The university, which is the Leicester Mercury's official supporter for #backingtheblues, has had a close partnership with Leicester City for the last five years and renewed that partnership earlier this month. Under the new agreement DMU has been named as Leicester City's Official Higher Education Partner. DMU has taught English to Japanese striker Shinji Okazaki while Leicester City legend Matt Elliott is coach to the DMU men’s and women’s football teams.

Posted on: Friday 29 April 2016

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