Children’s author Michael Morpurgo has written a fairytale for BBC Radio 4 about Leicester City winning the football Premier League, suggesting the club had a helping hand from King Richard III, whose remains were found in a car park in the city in 2012.
In the story "Fox and the Ghost King", a fox (the Leicester City team is also known as the Foxes), is hanging around the car park when she hears the voice of the king. He promises Fox he will grant her greatest wish if she leads the archaeologists looking for him to where he is buried.
The “rightful king of England” not only wants to be buried in a cathedral “like other kings and queens”, he also wants to the world to remember him as he was, not as how the “damn dramatist” Shakespeare made him out to be.
He says: “Alas, alack! But for a horse my kingdom was lost. My kingdom! That was bad enough but Shakespeare took my reputation. And who do they celebrate all over the world now? Me? No! Ruddy Shakespeare! And I end up in a car park in Leicester.”
When Fox, who hates that “crowing cockerel of a Mourinho”, asks him to help Leicester win their next match against Chelsea, the king promises to go even further and guarantee that Leicester wins the League. So Fox digs a tunnel to where the king is buried, leading a path for the archaeologists to find.
A year later, after the king has been found and reburied with suitable ceremony in Leicester cathedral, Leicester City (the Foxes) win, as promised, the Premiership.
As the city celebrates, the king and Fox are reunited on the football stadium and Fox asked asks King Richard how he did it. “I told you, a king can do stuff and a ghost can do even more,” he says.
“Such stuff as dreams are made of?” asks Fox.
“That Shakespeare, he’s got inside your head too,” replies the king.
Morpurgo wrote and performed "Fox and the Ghost King" (or Uneasy Lies The Head That Dreams The Of), for BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. A recording is available online.