Published: Mon, October 29, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Leicester City owner dead after helicopter crash

Leicester City owner dead after helicopter crash

Police say the air accident watchdog has launched an investigation into why the aircraft fell to the ground in a parking lot near King Power stadium.

Leicester City FC has confirmed that owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was killed in yesterday's helicopter crash outside of the King Power Stadium.

Of the other victims, Leicestershire Police said on Sunday two were members of Vichai's staff: Nursara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare.

The avuncular Vichai has carefully navigated Thailand's treacherous political waters of recent years, while taking his King Power empire from strength to strength.

Hundreds of fans laid flowers, football shirts and scarves outside the stadium in tribute to Vichai on Sunday morning.

"In Khun Vichai, the world lost a great man".

"I know the whole Srivaddhanaprabha family and the father, and what he has done for Leicester is incredible", former Leicester and England manager Sven Goran Eriksson told BBC Radio 5 Live. It is a family that we will grieve his passing and maintain the pursuit of a vision for the club that is now his legacy.

A book of condolence will be opened at the stadium from Tuesday and the team postponed its fixture against Southampton.

Where other foreign investors in English football clubs are viewed to have used teams as cash cows, the Srivaddhanaprabha family are popular.

The aircraft came down in a auto park near the King Power stadium shortly after 19:30 GMT, about an hour after the end of Leicester City's game against West Ham United, police said.

Through the ownership, Leicester gained new fans in Thailand where they mourned Vichai's sudden death.

Clubs around England are sending their condolences to the famly and Leicester City.

"I'm just devastated really, it is such a tragedy you don't expect to happen", he said.

"He's made us big", she said, as aviation experts picked through small pieces of wreckage scattered on the stadium's edge.

Minute's silences were held ahead of the Premier League matches between Burnley and Chelsea, and Crystal Palace and Arsenal.

His son, Aiyawatt, Leicester's vice-chairman, would ordinarily have been among them, but Sky Sports reported that he did not attend the game on Saturday.

Leicester players Jamie Vardy and Harry Maguire both tweeted praying hands emojis. "A awful tragedy. Heartbreaking".

Even in racing, Mr Vichai could never leave his beloved Leicester City - known as the Foxes - far from his thoughts. Doesn't seem like they have had much of a chance. "It drove us to reach the Premier League, it gave us the strength to stay in the Premier League, and now it has inspired us to win the Premier League". "And not just that, because they've also invested in the local hospitals too".

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