Channel: Leicester Mercury Latest Stories Feed

New Walk Centre: A look inside the buildings as they were rigged up with explosives ahead of demolition


The spectacle of New Walk Centre's demise was brief but preparations for the levelling of the structures were lengthy and complicated.

It took months to clear the buildings and strip them down to their basic skeletons.

It also took a week of meticulous planning to set up rainbow-coloured spider's web of more than 7,000 metres of wires and cables, connecting detonators and some 1,100 explosive charges across the two buildings.

After both blocks had been rigged to blow contractors from DSM invited the Mercury into New Walk to take a final look at the doomed towers.

Heavy black curtains had been put up on the outside if the towers where ever charges had been laid. They left sections of the concrete skeletons of the structure in almost total darkness and served not only to protect the charges from the elements but to prevent rubble being blasted out and damaging nearby properties - the closest just metres from the complex's old B Block.

The curtains also kept out prying eyes.

Final preparations included a visit from counter-terrorism officers to make sure the massive undertaking ticked stringent security requirements.

So strict were the security arrangements that the Mercury had to agree not to publish a word about what it saw inside the demolition site until two hours after the towers were down.

Parts of the towers were weakened and the charges to blow a wedge out of the structures ensuring they collapsed in on themselves within their own footprint.

DSM explosive engineer Robin Rushforth said: "Just before the demolition is not really the worrying part. The worrying part is when you first walk through the building and think "How on Earth an I going to bring you down?"

"This was a difficult one because we had the old building plans but it quickly became clear they didn't match what had actually gone up.

"But there's always a way once you have done your calculations.

"A lot of people still think it is a simple as piling up a load of dynamite at the bottom, getting everybody out, pressing down the big plunger and it's goodbye building.

"No, this is a precise and detailed process."  

New Walk Centre: A look inside the buildings as they were rigged up with explosives ahead of demolition

Athena in Leicester sealed off by police following incident on Saturday night


Police have sealed off the entrance to the Athena events venue in the heart of Leicester's cultural quarter.

Tape in the front of the building is preventing anyone from getting close to the front doors.

Officers are on duty to prevent people going onto the steps of the building.

A police spokeswoman said: "The were reports of an incident on Saturday evening.

"The investigation is in its early stages and at present no further information is being released."

Athena in Leicester sealed off by police following incident on Saturday night

New Walk Centre demolition: Slow motion footage of towers collapsing


This astonishing slow motion footage shows the two towers of Leicester's New Walk Centre being demolished.

The buildings were razed to the ground in a matter of seconds - but this film gives you time to see even more detail of the demolition - including masonry falling and the huge dust cloud rising up about the site.

The towers - an eight and 13 storey block - were demolished at 10am today following months of preparation.

Thousands of people gathered around the tightly manned cordon of the 150 metre exclusion zone while others sought out lofty vantage points across the city to witness the fall of the remnants of the concrete blocks.

This video footage was taken from the top of multi-storey car park in Welford Road by Matt Short - and turned into slow motion by Shawn Ryan (www.shawn-ryan.co.uk)

New Walk Centre demolition: Slow motion footage of towers collapsing

Youngsters build credit card-sized computers and build ships out of Lego at Leicester Creat-A-Con event


Robots, K-nex and Lego attracted hundreds of youngsters to a creative technology event in the city.

Creat-A-Con was staged at the Queen's Building at De Montfort University on Saturday.

Kate Knaggs, a teacher at Roundhill Academy in Thurmaston, took her children to the event.

She said: "My son Luka really enjoyed working with the materials available including Lego.

"There were hundreds of primary school-aged children there in the morning.

"The secondary students went along in the afternoon."

A spokesman for the organisers said: "Creat-A-Con is supporting the goal of inspiring young people to take up further education and careers in the core areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

"We hope that we can encourage greater participation in the local groups and university societies, and turn Creat-A-Con into a platform to promote these various groups to the wider community."

During the event youngsters could get hands-on experience with robots, 3D printing, Minecraft, K-nex, and building Raspberry Pis - credit-card sized computers that plugs into your TV and a keyboard.

Youngsters build credit card-sized computers and build ships out of Lego at Leicester  Creat-A-Con event

Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year award winner revealed


Surreal knock-knock jokes and inspired ranting about Jaffa Cakes have won a newbie stand-up the prestigious Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year award.

Tom Little, 27, who has been doing stand-up comedy for just 20 months, was awarded the title on Saturday night in front of a packed audience at the city's Y Theatre.

Comedians are nominated by the UK's top promoters and the competition is seen as one of the best in the country for up and coming comics.

Tom, who completed as MA in social work at Preston University before deciding to follow his dream of being a stand-up, said: "I'm delighted. It's voted for by people in the industry and looking at past winners, I'm in very good company."

Tom's original style and inventive material stood out in what was a stellar night of strong performances.

Compere Rob Rouse said: "They will all be putting me out of work in a couple of years' time. Everyone who has taken part has been absolutely brilliant."

Runner-up was Norwegian comic Ingrid Dahle, whose brilliantly inventive trousers-from-Primark gag was just hilarious. "It is the best £5 I have ever spent," she said before turning the trousers into a dress, after-picture for a slimming ad and Essex girl outfit.

Self-confessed "humpty dumpty love god" David Jordan kicked off the night with a confident, crowd-pleasing set of songs. Welsh lass Kiri Pritchard-McLean alternated her gift for anecdotes with killer "did she really say that?" punchlines. Penella Mellor might have walked on stage looking like butter wouldn't melt but don't be fooled: her deadpan set revolved around the hell of having kids, especially ones who bring home rubbish presents from school. "Why do they never ask what mummy likes? Mummy likes vodka".

Lolly Adefope's character "Gemma" a mad office worker who can't see how rubbish she is, built to a punchline no-one saw coming, while Jake Lambert's clever material and brilliant puns showcased some great writing and assured delivery. Stephanie Laing's geeky endearing persona mused on the awkwardness of life and her reasons on why men are like buses was a highlight.

Last year's winner Kate Lucas made a triumphant return with her brilliantly bitter songs, including an inspired anti-Disney melody which mercilessly skewered Cinders.

Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year award winner revealed

Ship's captain's diary, found in a dusty old box in Glenfield sells for £4,900


The almost 250-year-old diary of a ship's captain unearthed in a dusty old box at a home in Glenfield has been sold for £4,900.

The box had been destined for the skip when the owner realised the diary, charting a journey by the East Indies Company ship Bridgewater from London to China via India, might have some value.

It went under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers in Derbyshire last week with a guide price of £300 to £500.

But it raised much more than that. However, the identity of the new owner has not been revealed.

The log is by a Captain Skottowe and contains insights about life on the seas, what the crew ate, how they were punished and various illnesses and accidents that struck the ship.

Auctioneer Charles Hanson said: "The book is incredibly special since it records the life and times on board the ship Bridgewater, which set sail from London in 1769 to Madeira, Madras and China."

Ship's captain's diary, found in a dusty old box in Glenfield sells  for  £4,900

Former Tigers star backs £1millon RSPCA appeal because of his pet dog


Former Leicester Tigers star Matt Hampson's love for his pet dog has seen him back a £1 million RSPCA appeal.

The 30-year-old, who set up his own sporting foundation after being paralysed from the neck down while training with England under-21s ten years ago, is supporting the Care4Paws appeal to finance a new veterinary suite with state-of-the-art facilities at Woodside Animal Centre in Leicester.

Matt took a tour of the animal rehoming centre on Scudamore Road in Braunstone Frith with his dog Alfie, to see for himself how the new veterinary facility will help thousands of animals every year.

Matt, of Cold Overton, near Oakham, said: "I couldn't imagine if I didn't have Alfie and he was alone in pain with nowhere or no-one to turn to.

"I am right behind this appeal to help Woodside build the veterinary facility they so desperately need to cope with the current spiralling vet costs and sad increase in neglected and mistreated animals.

"This new veterinary facility will be a huge step forward for animal welfare in Leicester and beyond."

The former rugby star launched the Matt Hampson Foundation to support people who have suffered life changing injuries through sport.

Gary Wheway, Woodside's branch manager, said: "The success of the Care4Paws Appeal will ensure our centre continues to provide the best animal care possible, and many people have already been incredibly generous, but we desperately need everyone in the county to get behind the appeal.

"Not only will the vet suite allow the centre to continue to provide top quality animal care it will also remove the need for sick and injured animals to undergo painful and often distressing journeys to and from local vet surgeries."

The appeal was launched last May and the total raised so far is £545,000.

To donate to the appeal visit http://tinyurl.com/Care4Paws.

Former Tigers star backs £1millon  RSPCA appeal because of his pet dog

New football boot designed with help from Loughborough University scientists


Sports scientists at Loughborough University have helped design one of the lightest pairs of football boots ever made.

The Velocita Pro boots, designed for sports equipment giant Umbro, weight just 165 grams - less than six ounces.

Dr Sean Mitchell and Dr Steph Forrester, academics at the Sports Technology Institute at Loughborough University, worked with their students on making a boot that would improve footballers' performance.

As well as allowing them to run faster and for longer with their low weight, the boots are designed to have more grip than normal football boots.

Dr Mitchell said: "We are particularly pleased with how this work has given us the opportunity to involve our best undergraduate and postgraduate students in cutting edge sports technology research that has real world impact for the sports industry, elite players and recreational enthusiasts.

"This is typical of our work within the institute and right at the heart of the Loughborough ethos.

"The boot has been designed to improve multi-directional speed and help players feel quicker on their feet for a full 90 minutes."

Developing the boot involved lots of tests involving footballers as the scientists worked to create a boot that was comfortable over a long period of time as well as improving performance.

Another challenge for the scientists has been making sure the studs on the shoe allow footballers to change direction quickly and run sideways as well as forwards.

Colin Lomas, footwear and equipment director at Umbro said: "Working closely with Loughborough allows us to test products from initial concept to the finished article with experts in biomechanics, engineering and sports science.

"Footballers don't run in straight lines, therefore the principle behind the Velocita was to create a boot which allows multi-directional speed.

"Every single aspect of the boot has a functional purpose geared towards this – from the unique configuration of the studs to the laces, which were flattened like runner's spikes.

"And whilst weight was an important factor, the boot has been specifically engineered to offer a level of comfort for 90 minutes and beyond."

The boots, which costs £130 a pair, are available now in three colours - Nimbus Cloud, Dark Shadow and Pink Glo.

New football boot designed with help from Loughborough University scientists

A man and woman arrested in Leicester on suspicion of murder


Two people have been arrested on suspicion of murder.

They were detained on Saturday morning after police received call about an incident in St Stephen's Road, in the Highfields area of Leicester

Officers were called shortly after 8am to the three storey house.

A 23 year-old woman and a 34-year-old man have been arrested on suspicion of murder and remain in police custody.

The house and an alleyway, on the corner St Peter's Road, was cordoned off to allow forensic officers to carry out an examination of the scene.

Police say inquiries are in their early stages and detectives are working to establish the exact circumstances surrounding the incident.

No details of the alleged victim have been released.

Police believe there may have been a serious incident in the house, which is dived into flats, on Tuesday evening or the early hours of Wednesday.

Detective Inspector Simon Shuttleworth has launched an appeal for witnesses.

He said: "If you were in the St Stephen's Road area during the evening of Tuesday, February 17 and into the early hours of Wednesday, February 18, and saw any suspicious behaviour we would like to hear from you.

"Did you see or hear any thing untoward?

"Maybe you didn't think much of it at the time, but it could help us with our inquiries."

Mohsin Ahmed of the Naqshbandi Arshadia Youth Association said his organisation meets each Tuesday evening in the IMRA centre next door to the house.

He said: "We believe three people lived there.

"Often we could hear arguing coming from the house.

"At one time we offered them some food but they refused it."

University professor Abdulrehman Mohammad lives at the back of the house in Medway Street with his family.

He said: "We believe two people live in the house.

"They tend to leave the gate to alley way open.

"I looked out of the back window and saw the police tape across the alley.

"The police have not told us what has happened."

He added: "The police have been to the house before about six months ago. But we do not know what that was about."

Police are urging people with information about what happened to get in touch with us on 101, or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111."

A man and woman arrested in Leicester on suspicion of murder

More Star Wars toys from Palitoy to go for thousands at auction


Out of this world prices are going to be paid at auction for small plastic Star Wars toys made in a Leicestershire factory.

Fifteen figures made by Palitoy in Coalville are going under the hammer at an auction next week.

Last month, a Palitoy toy of the bounty hunter Boba Fett, which cost £1.50 in 1980, reached £18,000 - the highest price achieved for a production Star Wars action figure sold at auction.

That figure was one of 70 lots sold by collector Craig Stevens -former chairman of the UK Star Wars Fan Club for a total of £42,000.

Next week's sale of figures at the Vectis auction house on Teesside is the second batch of toys being sold by Mr Stevens.

The 15 remaining Palitoy Empire Strikes Back toys are expected to raise between £28,000 and £42,000.

An FX-7 medical droid figure is expected to be the star of the show.

A Palitoy FX-7, which measures just three and three-quarter inches in height, sold for £8,400 last February - a world record price for a droid.

The Empire Strikes Back vintage figure comes on an un-punched 30A back card and has been given an estimate of between £3000 and £5000.

Figures of heroes Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Hans Solo are also up for sale.

More unusual characters are featured with a 2-1B surgical droid and Bespin security guard both with an estimate of between £2,000 and £3,000.

Kathy Taylor, a valuer at the auction house Vectis, said they were expecting a lot of interest from collectors the world over.

She said: "There is always a great deal of anticipation that surrounds these sales.

"We have people in the room, buyers on the internet and callers representing collectors on the end of the phone.

"It is all very exciting and it would be great if record prices for these figures were broken again."

* Palitoy of Coalville manufactured some of the most popular toys in Britain, some original items and others under licence.

Its products included Action Man, Action Force, Tiny Tears, Pippa, Tressy, Merlin, Star Wars figures and the Care Bears.

Palitoy was created as a trademark in 1935.

In 1978 the Chad Valley toy company was sold to Palitoy.

Palitoy was sold in turn to US food company General Mills in 1968. and formed part of the company's toy division.

General Mills then acquired the Airfix kit range and its GMR model railways range in the 1980s.

General Mills also snapped up UK rights to Meccano.

In May 1985 saw the end of most manufacturing at Palitoy with 327 staff in manufacturing and distribution out of 585 made redundant and manufacturing shifted overseas.

The former Palitoy site closed in 1994 and it was put on the market two years later with outline planning permission for housing.

Basketball: Leicester Riders 84 Durham Wildcats 81: Riders hold nerve for landmark win


Leicester Riders survived a late scare to see off Durham Wildcats 84-81 and keep up their fight for second place in the BBL Championship.

It was Leicester's 20th league win of the campaign, a landmark they have reached only eight times since league play started in 1972, with six of them coming in the last seven seasons under coach Rob Paternostro.

Riders led by 14 points with five minutes to go, but some fantastic shooting from Durham in the closing stages gave them two chances to force overtime in the dying seconds, but they were unable to take either.

A couple of Tyler Bernardini three-pointers and a 360-degree slam dunk from TrayVonn Wright had Riders 21-14 ahead in the opening quarter, but two three-pointers from the visitors saw them finish the period with eight of the last 10 points to cut the margin to 23-22.

Wright continued to put on a dunk-fest with three slams in a row as Riders edged 29-24 in front, but they were unable to shake off a dogged Wildcats side.

A couple of late threes from Neil Watson and Wright gave Riders a nine-point lead at the interval and the pair hit again from long range just after half-time as Leicester eased 63-46 in front.

Three scores in a row from Rashad Hassan had Leicester's lead out to 21 points and they entered the final quarter with a seemingly unassailable 71-55 advantage.

But five points from Sam Martin and two more threes from David Buchberger in the first two minutes of the final quarter had the gap down to only 10 points.

Leicester were still 11 points clear with three minutes to play but, as they tired from a second game in 24 hours, Martin and Buchberger again helped closed the gap from behind the arc, making it 84-81 with 90 seconds remaining.

A turnover and a missed three-pointer by Leicester gave Durham the ball with 20 seconds to go, and they needed only one more long-range effort to force overtime.

Buchberger, who had made six of his nine three-point attempts at that point, missed from the corner to tie and although Durham snaffled the offensive rebound, Chris Jones was also unable to extend the game with his three-point attempt.

Wright led the way with 25 points and seven rebounds, while Hassan (21 points, 12 rebounds) and Watson (12 points, 11 assists) both posted double-doubles.

Basketball: Leicester Riders 84 Durham Wildcats 81: Riders hold nerve for landmark win

Mobile speed camera locations for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland from Monday, February 23


A6 Loughborough Rd, Birstall / Wanlip

A607 Melton Rd, Waltham on the Wolds

A4304 Lubbenham Hill, Market Harborough

A563 Glenhills Way, Leicester

A47 Uppingham Road, Houghton on the Hill

A47 Humberstone Road, Leicester

A607 Norman Way, Melton (westbound)

A606 Nottingham Road Melton

A607 Thurmaston Bypass, Thurmaston

A607 Melton Rd, Waltham

Station Road, Stoney Stanton (Community Concern)

A47 Normandy Way (40mph), Hinckley(Community Concern)

A47 Route: Billesdon - East Norton

A6 Glen Road, Oadby

A6 Harborough Road, Oadby

A4304 Lutterworth Road / Station Road, N Kilworth

A5199 Leicester Road, Wigston

A50 Route: Field Head - Groby

Leicester Road, Ibstock

A6 Derby Rd, Loughborough

A563 Atlee Way, Leicester

A512 Ashby Road, Loughborough

B5350 Nanpantan Road (30 & 40mph), Loughborough

A563 Asquith Way, Leicester

A447 Swan'ton Rd / Wash Ln / Ibstock Rd, R'stone

B5006 Tamworth Road, Ashby

A5199 Welford Road, Leicester

A512 New Ashby Road, Loughborough

A5 Route North: Dodwells - Highcross

B4666 Coventry Road, Hinckley

A447 Hinckley Rd, Cadeby

B4114 Leicester Rd, Sharnford

B581 Broughton Way / Station Rd, Broughton Astley

B4114 King Edward Ave Narborough

A4304 Kilworth Rd / High Street, Husbands Bosworth

Loughborough Road, Rothley(Community Concern)

Stoughton Road, Oadby(Community Concern)

A4304 Lutterworth Road, Walcote(Community Concern)

B5324 Ashby Road / Rempstone Road, Belton(Community Concern)

A511 Bardon Road, Coalville(Community Concern)

St Georges Hill / Main Street, Swannington(Community Concern)

Mobile speed camera locations for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland from Monday, February 23

'It's never too late' to quit smoking


Lung specialist Dr Sanjay Agrawal has praised the Leicester Mercury campaign to encourage people to quit smoking.

He believes it could potentially help to save the lives of 300 people.

His message is that it is never too late to stub out those cigarettes.

It comes after day after day he sees patients suffering the effects of the habit.

Dr Agrawal, a consultant in respiratory and intensive care medicine at Leicester's hospitals, said: "Everyone associates smoking with lung cancer but I also see the effects it has on other patients.

"People come into hospital and can't breathe and they are in pain and then there people with pneumonia and asthma and in pain.

"Smoking also causes heart attacks and stroke and macular degeneration.

"It affects people skin and can make conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and acid reflux worse."

He added: "It is never too late to give up smoking.

"Even if they have been smoking for years and years it is not impossible to stop and people should know that they can do it.

"If they stop smoking their symptoms will improve."

For the past year a new scheme has been introduced in which patients who smoke and are admitted to Leicester's hospitals are referred to a Stop smoking advisor.

As well as helping to improve the symptoms of smoking related diseases quitting could make all the difference to patients needing emergency or planned operations.

Dr Agrawal said: "Non-smokers and those who have stopped will heal quicker and they will be less prone to infections while they are in hospital.

"For example, they may be more likely to get pneumonia because their lungs are not as strong."

Dr Agrawal, who is also chairman of the British Thoracic Society's tobacco advisory group, said: "The Stop smoking service in Leicester is one of the best in the country.

"There are medications to help overcome the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms."

He praised the Leicester Mercury campaign to encourage quitters.

Dr Agrawal said: "I think if is fantastic that the Leicester Mercury and Stop smoking service have got together.

"It has the potential to save 300 lives."

'It's never too late' to quit smoking

London Irish 6 Leicester Tigers 12: Tigers battle way to Premiership victory


Leicester Tigers gained a hard-fought 12-6 win over London Irish.

Nine first-half points from the boot of Freddie Burns were added to by a penalty from replacement David Mele in the second period.

Tigers were never behind in the game after Burns had kicked them ahead in the fifth minute and their scrum was on top all day long.

Yet, Irish improved after the break and they had the better of the second half, forcing the visitors into a disciplined

rearguard defensive action that was led from the front by skipper Jordan Crane on his 200th appearance for the club.

A late change to the Exiles line-up meant former Tigers Academy product Alex Lewington came in on the wing as one of five Leicester old boys in the home side's squad.

Leicester lost the opening kick-off but a good defensive set forced a knock-on and Niki Goneva nearly broke free in open space, but for a telling tackle.

Tigers opened the scoring through Burns, as he nailed a 40-metre penalty but the 24-year-old missed from almost exactly the same position moments later.

Leicester's solid start kept them on top in testing overhead conditions.

Burns missed another penalty from almost exactly the same position but then landed a smartly-taken drop goal from the 22 as Tigers pressed once more.

The Exiles enjoyed their first proper attack of the game on 14 minutes, only for Jamie Gibson's work at the breakdown to force a "holding on" penalty against them.

Another Burns penalty stretched Tigers' lead to 9-0 on 21 minutes and they seemed completely in control with the penalty count 6-0 in their favour.

Irish got on the board through the boot of Shane Geraghty after 28 minutes and Irish enjoyed a good spell of pressure as Leicester's defence held firm.

Yet, when the Exiles pack was penalised yet again, referee Wayne Barnes sent tight-head prop Geoff Cross to the sin-bin for repeated offences.

Tigers were unable to make the most of their man advantage though as Burns missed two long-range kicks in the final five minutes of the half to keep it 9-3 at the break.

It was Burns' last action of the game, after a bang to the head led to him failing concussion protocol during the interval.

He was substituted by Mele at half-time but the part-time 10 spent the early stages of the second half defending as Irish imposed themselves.

Tigers suffered painfully slow ball from the ruck and static lines of attack, which welcomed the home side on to them and Geraghty closed the gap to 9-6 on 51 minutes.

The visitors finally found some momentum around a series of pick-and-goes around the ruck, which ended in a penalty that Mele landed for a 12-6 lead.

However, the turgid nature of proceedings continued.

Tigers were physically on top but only gained a yard at a time keeping the ball safe and tight in contact.

Irish dominated a tense final 10 minutes. A crucial "holding on" call ended one move a metre short of the line and then Leicester won a big penalty in the scrum on their own 22 to enable them to clear more danger and hang on until the whistle. 

London Irish 6 Leicester Tigers 12: Tigers battle way to Premiership victory

Everton 2 Leicester City 2: Last-gasp equaliser denies City


A last-gasp equaliser denied Leicester City a crucial win in their Premier League clash against Everton at Goodison Park.

City looked set for their fifth win of the season when David Nugent and Esteban Cambiasso put them 2-1 up after Steven Naismith had broken the deadlock.

But with less than two minutes left Christian Atsu crossed for Romelu Lukaku, whose diving header flew past Mark Schwarzer after taking a huge deflection off Matthew Upson and the match ended 2-2.

Lukaku had looked a shadow of the man that bagged a hat-trick against Young Boys on Thursday.

The Belgian missed several chances against the Foxes, but he was in the right place at the right time to grab a point for Roberto Martinez's team although he will be grateful to Upson for deflecting the ball in.

Lukaku was not the only poor performer for the hosts on Sunday. Everton were poor all over the pitch and can count themselves lucky to claim a point.

Ross Barkley was hooked after 53 minutes following a poor display and Aaron Lennon quickly faded after a bright start.

Tim Howard was also poor. The American goalkeeper gave his critics further ammunition by flapping at two crosses, which allowed the Premier League's bottom club to score twice.

Nigel Pearson will be bitterly disappointed not to take all three points from his trip to Merseyside, but he can take heart from the fact that his team are now four points closer to safety, rather than five.

Everton took a while to get going in Switzerland on Thursday and it was much the same case at Goodison Park as Leicester started strongly.

Jeffrey Schlupp was their most dangerous player in the opening stages, firing a low drive at Howard.

Schlupp burst into the box moments later and it needed the combined efforts of three Everton players to stop the Ghanaian.

The home fans were unhappy as Everton lacked any pace or purpose going forward. They briefly woke from their slumber when Lukaku collected and went clean through following an incisive pass by Barkley, but the striker was offside.

Everton wasted the few chances they had in the first half. Barkley curled a 20-yard free-kick into the Park End and Lukaku did the same moments later.

Andrej Kramaric came close at the other end when he curled his shot a foot over Howard's goal.

John Stones then put in a last-ditch block to deny Schlupp in first half injury time.

The game was a far more entertaining affair in the second half. Just two minutes after the break, Howard parried Matty James' shot, but Schlupp dragged the follow-up wide.

Boos rang out around Goodison Park in the 53rd minute when Muhamed Besic, who had controlled the game from midfield was replaced by Atsu. Darron Gibson came on for Barkley, who had been far less effective.

Any dissenting voices were muted four minutes later when Everton took the lead. Lukaku held the ball up brilliantly and laid the ball off to Naismith, who squeezed his shot between Wes Morgan and Robert Huth and the ball trickled past Mark Schwarzer.

Pearson made a double change, bringing Nugent and Jamie Vardy on.

Just over one minute later, the pair combined to equalise. Vardy pulled away down the right and drove a low shot goalwards which Howard spilled straight into the path of Everton fan Nugent, who tapped in.

Lukaku should have put Everton back in front when he meandered through the Leicester defence, but he somehow contrived to clear the bar from 10 yards.

The hosts were punished immediately by the Foxes. Howard was at fault again. He flapped at a cross and Vardy pulled the ball back to Cambiasso, who drilled the ball in from inside the box.

The Everton fans groaned as Lukaku wasted yet another chance to score as the former Chelsea striker could only muster a weak shot after being played in by Naismith.

The Belgian made a telling impact in the dying minutes, though, when his diving header hit Upson and flew in to steal a fortuitous point for Martinez's side.

Everton 2 Leicester City 2: Last-gasp equaliser denies City

Tributes paid to Leicester City fan who died while walking to the match at Everton


Leicester City fans have paid tribute to a fellow supporter who collapsed and died while walking to the match at Everton yesterday afternoon.

A Leicester City spokesman said season ticket holder Terry Orton, 48, had travelled to Merseyside on an independent supporters coach and was taken ill while walking from the coach to Goodison Park.

He said the club was "saddened" by the news and added: "The thoughts and deepest sympathies of everyone at Leicester City are with Terry's family at this difficult time."

Fans tweeted tributes after hearing the tragic news, while City player Paul Konchesky tweeted: "Very sad news about the fan who lost his life. RIP" 

Tributes paid to Leicester City fan who died while walking to the match at Everton

Bogus faith healers under investigation after landmark case


A bogus spiritual healer who conned his victims out of hundreds of thousands of pounds was not an 'isolated case', officials have warned. Mohammed Ashrafi tricked people into believing he was a holy man who could help them win the lottery – as long as they gave him tens of thousands of pounds. The 50-year-old was jailed for nine years yesterday after he was convicted of 15 offences of fraud and one of blackmail. The jury at Leicester Crown Court heard that Ashrafi – who went under the name Kamal-Ji – used sleight of hand and magic tricks to establish his credentials as a healer. The Leicester Mercury has learned other suspects are now under investigation by Leicestershire Police and trading standards officials. An unknown number of tricksters are operating in the city, advertising in foreign language newspapers or by putting business cards through letterboxes or leaving them on car windscreens. Many claim to be able to use prayer to lift curses, heal broken marriages and solve financial problems. Others say they can cure illnesses including cancer and HIV. Inspector Ben Gillard, commander of the East Area Neighbourhood policing area, which is covered by Keyham Lane and spinney Hill Park police stations, said: "I am sure there are other people out there who were either victims of this man or of similar conmen. "Those people may be reluctant to come forward to tell us what has happened to them. "People like Ashrafi rely on people's reluctance to speak out because it allows them to continue exploiting people. "Hopefully, as more cases like this come out people will learn the risks of turning to these people. "We have a number of active investigations ongoing. "It is not only an issue of police enforcement, it's also about education and awareness. "These people advertise their services by putting leaflets on cars or through doors. There is also an element of word of mouth recommendations. "Our advice is: if you have money worries, talk to someone like the Citizens' Advice Bureau, if you are concerned about your health talk to your GP or if you have relationship problems there are professional and accountable counseling services." Roman Leszczyszyn, head of regulatory services for Leicester City Council, said: "We are pretty sure this is not an isolated case in Leicester. "Rogue faith healers operate not only within the community but also by targeting vulnerable people from afar by post and email. "Instances are under-reported because victims do not realise that they have been duped. Our advice is 'don't get involved'. "Sadly, it is a fact that potentially vulnerable people will often not pay attention to advice from official bodies. "It's therefore very important that family members, friends and community leaders – people who are trusted – intervene and advise individuals against getting involved and also report these matters to the police, Crimestoppers, Trading Standards or Action Fraud. "We and the police are working together to raise awareness of the dangers."

Bogus faith healers under investigation after landmark case

Everton 2 Leicester 2 - Premier League: as it happened - Upson own goal denies City win

A late own-goal from defender Matt Upson saw Leicester City have to settle for a 2-2 draw at Everton in the Premier League. With two minutes to go, City were on the verge of a crucial Premier League victory, a result that would have moved them to just two points from safety. But Upson diverted Romelu Lukaku's header into his own net at Goodison Park. Lifelong Everton fan David Nugent had levelled the scoring for City, following Steven Naismith's opener, before Esteban Cambiasso put the visitors into the lead. Manager Nigel Pearson said the result felt more like a defeat for his players after the result left them four points adrift. Here is how the action unfolded:
Live Blog Everton v Leicester City - Premier League LIVE!

Everton 2 Leicester 2 - Premier League: as it happened - Upson own goal denies City win

Everton 2 Leicester City 2 – reaction: Late Matt Upson own goal made draw "feel like a defeat"


Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson admitted his side's 2-2 draw at Everton "felt like a defeat" after Matt Upson scored a late own goal.

City were just minutes from moving to only two points off Premier League safety as they held a 2-1 lead at Goodison Park.

Pearson's men had to come from behind, following Steven Naismith's scuffed opener, before lifelong Everton fan David Nugent and then Esteban Cambiasso fired home to put City in front.

But Upson's late own goal, deflecting Romelu Lukaku's glanced header into his own net, saw City drop two crucial points, leaving them four points adrift.

"The dressing room is very disappointed because we think we have played well," said Pearson.

"It feels like a defeat right now, but we must take the positives. We responded well to going behind with another good display.

"We have got to turn these sorts of performances into wins. That is the bottom line. There is no other way of getting away from the predicament that we find ourselves in.

"In terms of a performance, and a positive intent, I thought it was there today. We will have to bounce back, it's as simple as that.

"It is frustrating for us because I think we have defended better than the fact that we have conceded two goals And both of them had an element of, raise your eyebrows, a scuffed shot through your legs, and a last touch off Matty.

"It is an important point for us. We could be talking about three points, but we are not. That is the reality of it.

"There is not point talking about being unlucky, we have to make our fortunes change. If we apply ourselves in the way that we have today, and at Arsenal, I think we will be fine."

Pearson made a double change just after the hour, as Nugent and Jamie Vardy replaced wingers Jeff Schlupp and Riyad Mahrez.

Just minutes after they came, the two combined for Nugent's leveler.

Pearson, who had said he will "live and die" by his decisions in midweek, was pleased to see it pay off.

"There is always an element of risk when you make changes," he said. "When we have got the ball it can be 3-4-3, the trade-off when you put strikers in those positions, is that you might not get the defensive side of the game quite the same.

"But we needed to freshen it up and they made an impact. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. Managers have to take the rough with the smooth."

Everton 2 Leicester City 2 – reaction: Late Matt Upson own goal made draw

I love my Mum: Vote for your favourite!


To celebrate Mother's Day on Sunday 15th March, the Leicester Mercury invited children to take part in our 'I Love my Mum' Drawing Competition. Entries were invited from children within the Post's circulation area and from local primary schools. They had to draw a portrait style picture of their Mum using pencils, crayons, or paint materials.

The entries have been split into two age categories, 4-7 years and 8-11 years and one winner will be selected from each category.

Click here to vote for your favourite entry in each category. Please note: you can only vote once online.

In addition you can vote as many times as you like by collecting special voting coupons found within the Leicester Mercury between Monday 23rd February and Saturday, 28th February, 2015. Watch out for double, treble, and quadruple voting dates to help build your favourite's total.

The picture with the most number of votes from a combination of in-paper and online votes from each age category will win a lovely spa package for their Mum and a friend, courtesy of Owl House Day Spa.

I love my Mum: Vote for your favourite!