Leicester City owner confirmed among dead in helicopter crash
The owner of Leicester City football club, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, has been confirmed as among those killed when the Thai businessman’s helicopter crashed after taking off from the club’s stadium on Saturday night.
Srivaddhanaprabha was among five people to die in the incident, Leicester City FC confirmed on Sunday night.
The Thai billionaire’s helicopter crashed shortly after taking off from the pitch at the King Power stadium, following Leicester’s 1-1 draw with West Ham in the Premier League.
Witnesses describe seeing the aircraft spin out of control, while footage of the aftermath of the crash showed a huge fireball in a car park near the stadium.
There had been numerous unconfirmed reports that Srivaddhanaprabha, 61, had been abroad, as he was regularly seen leaving the stadium in his own helicopter after attending games.
Srivaddhanaprabha, who is worth an estimated $3.8 billion through his duty-free retail empire, bought Leicester in 2010 for a reported £39 million.
His investment helped the club return to England’s top-flight before the Foxes defied 5,000-1 odds to secure a stunning Premier League title in the 2015-16, widely seen as one of the greatest underdog stories in sporting history.
Srivaddhanaprabha endeared himself to the club’s players, staff and fans through his humility, generosity and personal touch in the club’s affairs.
He was a regular visitor at matches, and was often seen leaving in his helicopter from the pitch to return to his London home.
Football fans gathered at Leicester's Stadium on Sunday to pay tribute to the victims of the crash, while support poured in from the broader football community.