Owner of 2015/16 English Premier League champions, Leicester City FC, died in a helicopter crash just outside the stadium. Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, along with two of his staff members, the pilot and a passenger were killed in the crash that happened around 20:30 BST on Saturday after Leicester City had drawn 1-1 against West Ham United in the Premier League.
Witnesses say that the aircraft just cleared the King Power Stadium before the helicopter spun out of control and crashed in flames. They also said that the club’s number one goalkeeper, Kasper Schmeichel, rushed outside the stadium towards the crash scene. He emphasized that Mr. Srivaddhanaprabha had “changed football forever”.
In a statement, Leicester City said the club’s thoughts were with “the Srivaddhanaprabha family and the families of all those on-board at this time of unspeakable loss”.
Thai billionaire Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, 60, married with four children, took over Leicester City FC in 2010 and paid £39 for the English Premier League club in 2010.
The club described Mr. Srivaddhanaprabha as “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”.
Under his ownership, the club achieved its first Premier League title in 2016, having started the campaign as 5,000/1 outsider. Only hardcore Leicester City fans would pursue these Premier League betting odds. However, the club pulled off the impossible and claimed the Premier League title.
Leicester City captain Wes Morgan tweeted: “Absolutely heartbroken and devastated regarding the news of our chairman. A man that was loved and adored by everyone here at lcfc.”
Premier League 2015/16 top scorer, Jamie Vardy posted on his Instagram a photo of him and Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha with the caption: “Struggling to find the right words….but to me you are legend, an incredible man who had the biggest heart, the soul of Leicester City Football Club. Thank you for everything you did for me, my family and our club. I will truly miss you…. may you rest in peace…#theboss”.
French Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain, Serie A club Inter Milan, and fellow English clubs West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur, Nottingham Forest, and Swansea City were among the teams that passed on condolences to Leicester.