Published: Mon, October 29, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Leicester City says owner has died in helicopter crash

Leicester City says owner has died in helicopter crash

Srivaddhanaprabha, who bought Leicester City in 2010, is hugely popular at the club having funded the Foxes through their fairy tale Premier League success in 2015-16, when they were 5,000-1 to win the title at the start of the season.

"You look at where Leicester were before the owner took over, riddled in debt, they were in League One and by taking over the finances that they pumped in they helped Leicester to achieve the greatest day in their history", Roberts said.

"Leicester City was a family under his leadership".

"We all know about the investment in the football club you and your family have made".

"Everyone at the club has been truly touched by the remarkable response of the football family, whose thoughtful messages of support and solidarity have been deeply appreciated at this hard time", Leicester said.

The club's statement on Sunday did not name the other four victims.

Srivaddhanaprabha traces his wealth to his King Power International, a company based in Bangkok that operates duty-free shops at airports in Thailand.

"Thoughts and prayers with all - particularly owners who've done so much for Club and our City", Leicester's mayor Peter Soulsby tweeted.

"It was around 8.40pm when it just fell into the stadium auto park, I stopped the vehicle then raced round to see what had happened".

Kanti Patel, one of the first supporters to come to pay tribute in the early hours of Sunday, told AFP: "It means a lot to me, he did a lot for the club. We will miss you".

"Leicestershire Police will be supporting the AAIB in its investigation, liaising closely with Leicester City Football Club as enquiries continue".

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Small bouquets, soccer jerseys and flags were left by members of the public alongside a large image of the Hindu god Ganesh, which was also propped up among the flowers.

Minute's silences were held ahead of the Premier League matches between Burnley and Chelsea, and Crystal Palace and Arsenal. You cared so deeply not just for our club but for the entire community.

Harry Maguire was among several other Leicester players who posted tributes on social media. "A awful tragedy. Heartbreaking".

"Vichai is a great loss not just to his club but to the Premier League and English football as a whole".

"He is an important person who has raised the bar of Thai football further", Apichart Jitratkavee, a Leicester fan in the Thai capital, told AFP.

Leicester were promoted to the top flight by winning the Championship in the 2013/14 season just two years before shocking the world by winning the Premier League.

They then beat odds of 5000-1 to claim the Premier League title in 2016 in one of the greatest sporting stories of all time. Leicester's nickname is The Foxes.

They ended up finishing 14th, securing themselves another season in Europe's richest league in 2015/16.

But not even their most devout fans could have imagined what happened next.

Leicester's title triumph was built on an exceptional scouting network that plucked star striker Jamie Vardy from non-league side Fleetwood Town and N'Golo Kante and Riyad Mahrez from the French second division.

Leicester's players were among many big names in football to lead the online tributes to Srivaddhanaprabha.

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