A mural of 12 Leicester City players standing alongside the manager that lead them to Premier League success is to be painted over under plans to develop the building.
The new owner of the site said he has taken the tough decision to remove the mural but said he wants original artist, Richard Wilson, to recreate the mural in a better location.
The Leicester City mural has graced the back of the former Marks Electrical building in King Richards Road, for the past three years.
It became a symbol of the 2015/16 football season when Leicester City – the 5,000-1 underdogs – were crowned Premier League champions of England.
It depicts the 12 key players of that period along with manager Claudio Ranieri.
The new mural could be updated to include a tribute to former club chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the man who made the dream come true, but who died in a helicopter crash at the King Power Stadium last October.
Artist Richard Wilson wanted to show his support for City’s achievement by painting the 12ft high mural of Claudio Ranieri even before the league winning season had ended.
With the support of the building’s then owner Mark Smithson he ended up spending more than a month painting the 13 faces.
He said he would be prepared to paint it again elsewhere – provided the right space can be found.
The building’s new owner, Leicester city fan and property developer Stephen Levy, said the mural has to go under his plans to create a new shop and 12 flats.
He said he was considering one of two potential new sites, in a more prominent location than its current home in quiet Kate Street.
He and Mark’s Electrical owner Mark Smithson have agreed to pay Mr Wilson £10,000 plus costs to repeat his labour of love.
Mr Levy said: “We have to move it because it just won’t fit in with what we are going to do here.
“The plan is to get the original artist to come down and repaint it and we’re just trying to sign off a new site in the town for it.
“One is close to the city centre and the other option is on a prominent route into the city.
“I used to share a box at Leicester City with Mark Smithson so I care about this, and Mark is happy as long as he sees it go back up somewhere.
“We intend to put Vichai on it as well, along with the same players in the same order.
“We feel sad, but it’s something that will be in a more prominent position. Once the owners of the right site are happy with our plan we hope to get on with it in the next couple of weeks.”
Richard Wilson, 45, said it was good that Mr Levy understood what the mural meant to the city.
He said: “Painting the mural gave me a huge connection with the area and it’s great that people would want to keep it.
“Mark was kind enough to originally let me use his wall to paint Claudio, then asked me to do the whole wall which took five weeks.
“I was only able to do it because he offered to pay me. It was my first paid art job and led to me becoming a full-time artist.
“I did it because Leicester gave me an interest in the Premier League again because of the whole David and Goliath thing.
“I’ll never forget what it was like being there at that time. Every day there were at least 100 people coming to see what I was doing and there was an amazing atmosphere.
“There were people coming from Japan and Brazil and journalists from Italy and Spain.
“As long as they get the right location, and people want me to do it again, of course I would do it because my memories of that time are golden.
“I still get amazing messages thanking me for what I did.”
Mark Smithson, who has a new showroom in Beaumont Leys, said he would have like it to stay where it was, but hoped it would be an opportunity to improve on the original.
He said: “Unfortunately I had to sell the building, but I’ve agreed to pay half the costs of relocating it, and make it even better with the Chairman Vichai included.”