Tragedy strikes English football as Leicester City confirm chairman’s death in UK helicopter crash
London, October 28, 2018 (AltAfrica)-The owner of Leicester City FC died when his helicopter crashed outside the club’s stadium, it has been confirmed.
Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four other people died when the aircraft crashed on Saturday evening.
Leicester have issued a statement in the last few moments which began: “It is with the deepest regret and a collective broken heart that we confirm our Chairman, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, was among those to have tragically lost their lives on Saturday evening when a helicopter carrying him and four other people crashed outside King Power Stadium.
None of the five people on-board survived.”
“The primary thoughts of everyone at the Club are with the Srivaddhanaprabha family and the families of all those on-board at this time of unspeakable loss.
“In Khun Vichai, the world has lost a great man. A man of kindness, of generosity and a man whose life was defined by the love he devoted to his family and those he so successfully led.
“Leicester City was a family under his leadership. It is as a family that we will grieve his passing and maintain the pursuit of a vision for the Club that is now his legacy.”
It is a ritual known to anyone who attends Leicester City’s home games – the owner’s helicopter taking off from the pitch an hour or two after the final whistle.
Such extravagance is easily forgiven when you have helped give the fans their most memorable days as supporters.
The warmth of the fans had already been won by then, however: free beers and hot dogs all round on his birthdays will do that. Not for him the cynicism or disdain directed towards many a foreign owner of a British football club.
Sky sources have said Srivaddhanaprabha was on-board when the helicopter crashed at around 8.30pm on Saturday, but it was not yet clear if anybody survived.
Reuters news agency also said four other people were on-board, including Mr Srivaddhanaprabha’s daughter, two pilots and a fifth person who has not been identified.
Srivaddhanaprabha’s journey to super riches began humbly: he opened a duty-free shop back in Bangkok in 1989
The family pumped many millions into improving the squad and the stadium.
Leicester is now worth £371m, according to Forbes.
Keen football fan Srivaddhanaprabha also owns Belgian club OH Leuven.
He is married to Aimon Srivaddhanaprabha.
The couple have four children together – Voramas, Apichet, Aroonroong and Aiyawatt.