Leicester City have been granted the Freedom of the Borough of Charnwood.
The honour was awarded at a special meeting of Charnwood Borough Council at Loughborough Town Hall yesterday evening (September 14).
Speaking to Charnwood Borough Council’s media team, Rodgers said : “We’re obviously very privileged. The honour means a lot to everyone at the football club.
“Obviously we’re all here tonight to receive it and we’re very proud to do so.
“The community is everything. In modern football, where there’s so much (focus on) finances and money, sometimes that can take you away from your supporters. But (the community) is the essence of everything that’s great about Leicester City. Our connection between the fans, the players… that will always be everything to Leicester City.”
Rodgers gave credit to Belvoir Drive, the club’s former training ground, but admits the move to Seagrave has brought the club to a “different level”.
“When I was a young coach I used to travel to Belvoir Drive with my young teams,” he said. “I always thought it was a really nice training facility and obviously since Khun Vichai and Top came in, they improved the facilities and it’s now the home of our women’s team.
“However, going to the new facility just brings us on to a different level altogether for development and improvement. We’re ecstatic to be there and very, very lucky to work in such a great place.”
Rodgers has a personal connection with Charnwood following his move to City in 2019 and thanked the borough council on behalf of the club for the honour.
“When I first came to Leicester City I lived in Charnwood, so I know the beauty of Bradgate Park and Old John and all the surrounding areas.
“But on behalf of ourselves at the club we want to give a huge thank you to all the people and the council to bestow this honour to us and we’re obviously delighted with that.”
Kasper Schmeichel was also there to accept the honour, telling Charnwood Borough Council: “Having those kind of facilities available to you is an inspiration because every single day you come to a place that inspires you to get better and drives you to work more.
“We’re buzzing to be there. It’s been a long time coming – obviously with COVID it took a while to get moved in. But now that we’re in there, we’re really, really happy.
“I hope that when COVID is friendlier to us, we have a chance to meet more people and engage more with the community than we have been able to at the moment.
“Hopefully we can open the doors a little bit more to the training ground and people can see what a facility it is.”
Cllr Paul Baines, Mayor of Charnwood, said hailed the club’s success as “incredible” while praising their impact on the community.
“We are absolutely delighted to award the Freedom of the Borough to Leicester City FC,” he said.
“Their success in recent years has been incredible and we are proud that the Club created its world-class training facility in the borough.
“We are also pleased that Charnwood has been home to LCFC Women. We wish them all the best for the future now they are playing their home matches at King Power Stadium.
“The honour reflects the Club’s excellent ambassadorship for the city, county and the sport in recent years and how it engages positively with local communities.”