- Associated Press - Thursday, April 28, 2016

LEICESTER, England (AP) - There’s more to Leicester than its soccer team. Before Leicester staged its improbable bid to win the Premier League, the city in central England was better known for other reasons.

Here are some of them:



Leicester’s recent spell in the spotlight started with the discovery of the battle-scarred skeleton of long-reviled King Richard III under a parking lot in the city in 2012. Scientific sleuthing, including radiocarbon dating and DNA tests, confirmed the remains belonged to the long-lost king, who died at the Battle of Bosworth, near Leicester, in 1485. The king’s bones were reburied last March, 530 years after his violent death, at a service at Leicester Cathedral attended by royalty and religious leaders. By coincidence, Leicester’s remarkable resurgence as a soccer club began after the reburial. At the time of the service, Leicester was last in the Premier League but the team then won most of its remaining games to stay in the division before carrying that form into this season.



If you like potato chips and cheese, then head to Leicester. The city houses the largest “crisp” factory in the world, making 5 million packets of potato chips a day for Walkers , which was bought PepsiCo in 1989. Red Leicester is one of Britain’s most well-known cheeses. It is a mild one, crumbly, and gets its color from a vegetable dye called annatto, a fruit found in South America and the Caribbean. It is named after Leicester because that is where it was traded as far back as the 17th century, leading to a cheese market being established in 1759.



Another sports team once dominated the limelight in Leicester. Leicester Tigers have been the most successful English rugby team since the sport turned professional in 1996, winning eight league titles and two European Cups, and having some of England’s greatest players, like Martin Johnson and Neil Back. Welford Road is one of the most atmospheric club rugby stadiums in Britain.



The heartbeat of the city is Europe’s largest outdoor covered market , which dates back more than 700 years. During his playing days for Leicester in the 1980s, former England captain Gary Lineker could be found selling fruit and vegetables from his family’s stall.



In September 1984, while researching inherited diseases, British scientist Alec Jeffreys made an accidental discovery at the University of Leicester. He realized that individuals have “DNA fingerprints,” unique patterns of genetic material that can be used to identify them. The discovery has solved thousands of crimes, put murderers behind bars, split and reunited families - and launched a fierce debate about privacy and human rights.



Leicester was the city where David and Richard Attenborough, two of Britain’s national treasures, grew up. David, arguably the world’s most renowned wildlife broadcaster, and Richard, the late actor and movie producer/director, ended up in Leicester because their father, Frederick, was the principal of the university there. The city was the birthplace of Lineker and Peter Shilton, who are among the most celebrated England soccer internationals. Other famous folk who count - or counted - Leicester as their hometown: Donald Hings, the late telecommunications pioneer who was best known for his invention of the Walkie-Talkie; Joseph Merrick, the original so-called “Elephant Man”; musician Mark Morrison, best known for his hit “Return of the Mack”; and Lady Jane Grey, who was Queen of England for nine days in the mid-1500s.

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