Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha— the man credited with an against-all-odds Premier League victory in 2016 would be greatly missed by a lot of fans, this is obvious considering that tons of fans already fearing the worst had laid out football scarves, flowers and Buddhist prayers outside the club’s King Power stadium after Saturday’s accident.
The club has pointed out that The world has indeed lost a great man.
It also went ahead to state that under his leadership Leicester City was a family. And as a result, they would grieve his passing as a family and do all they can to maintain the pursuit of a vision for the club that has now become his legacy.
In mourning, they have announced that a book of condolence will be opened at the stadium from Tuesday and the team has postponed its upcoming League Cup fixture against Southampton.
They stated that everyone at the Club is truly touched by the remarkable response of the football family, whose thoughtful messages of support and solidarity are deeply appreciated at this difficult time
The other four victims are Kaveporn Punpare and Nursara Suknamai, two members of Vichai’s staff, pilot Eric Swaffer and passenger Izabela Roza Lechowicz as named by the police
Vichai, 60, the owner of Thailand’s King Power duty-free empire, was frequent at matches as he used to fly to and from home games.
Eyewitnesses reported that the helicopter seemed to have developed a mechanical problem in its rear propeller shortly after takeoff. The blue chopper took off from the middle of the pitch once the stadium had emptied after Saturday’s 1-1 draw with West Ham.
Pictures show orange balls of flame engulfing the wreckage in the car park of the same stadium where just two years ago Leicester had celebrated the most unlikely of Premier League title triumphs.
Leicester striker Jamie Vardy, one of the heroes of that success, posted on Instagram shortly after the incident that he was struggling to find the right words and that Vichai is a legend to him, an incredible man who had the biggest heart, the soul of Leicester City Football Club,
He went on to thank him for everything he did for him, his family and their entire club. He also said that he will truly miss him…. And urged his boss to rest in peace…
Tributes and prayers have poured in endlessly from the world of football and beyond for the jovial man many credits with bringing glory to the central English city with the miracle-making club.
Part of the tributes received was an image of Ganesh — a Hindu god also seen in Thai Buddhist temples.
A minute’s silence was observed before the end of Sunday’s Premier League matches.
Andrew Hulley, the team’s chaplain for the past seven years, has stated that Its a family business and that the sense of family has been instilled not just throughout the club but into the city as well.
Beyond just his success at Leicester city, football fans in Bangkok said Vichai had helped develop the sport in Thailand as well, bringing the Southeast Asian country more recognition in the world of sports.
Chamat Uchukanokkul, 39, said Vichai was an inspiration to Thais… He is a proof that we can do anything if we set our minds to do it.
Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha purchased Leicester City in 2010 and became chairman the following February, he invested millions into the team and became a beloved figure in the club and the city — an achievement rarely recorded by the Premier League’s foreign owners.
It was under His ownership that Leicester city recorded one of the biggest fairy tales in English football history by winning the 2015/16 Premier League, having started the season as 5,000-1 outsiders for the title.
His investments in the club helped return them to the Premier League from the second-tier Championship in 2014.
After remaining at the very bottom of the table for most of the 2014/15 season, the Foxes, as the team is nicknamed, then pulled off what fans now fondly call the “Great Escape”, they won seven of their last nine matches.
They finally finished 14th, securing for themselves another season in Europe’s richest league in 2015/16. But nobody imagined what happened next.
Vardy scored in 11 consecutive matches, landing the men in blue a title second to none in the history of Premier League.
The magnitude of the impact made by Leicester’s remarkable rise under Vichai across the continent was reflected as Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid both expressed their condolences.