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Leicester to consider renaming stadium in honor of late owner – reports

Leicester to consider renaming stadium in honor of late owner – reports
Leicester City officials will reportedly consider renaming the club’s stadium in honor of late owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who died along with four other people when his helicopter crashed shortly after take-off on Saturday.

Billionaire Thai businessman Srivaddhanaprabha, 60, bought the East Midlands club in 2010, and was a driving force behind Leicester’s stunning Premiership title win in 2016.

Tributes have poured in since Srivaddhanaprabha was killed on Saturday night when his helicopter went down shortly after taking off from the King Power stadium pitch after Leicester’s match against West Ham.

His assistant Nusara Suknamai and fellow Thai member of staff Kaveporn Punpare were also killed, as were pilot Eric Swaffer and his partner Izabela Roza Lechowicz.

Leicester’s King Power stadium is already named after the late businessman’s duty-free retail empire, and the club would consider calls to change the title - as well installing a statue - to honor Srivaddhanaprabha, according to sources who spoke to ESPN.

"What is important now is to give the Srivaddhanaprabha, King Power and Leicester City family time to grieve," said a King Power spokesperson.

"In due course we will release memorial details and are touched by the public outpouring of support and condolences.

"The King Power Stadium is already a celebration of Khun Vichai's successful business and we would be open, with family, club and supporter consultation, to discussing a name change in Khun Vichai's honor.

“We are aware of petitions seeking this type of change as well as for a statue at the club and will discuss all these wishes with the Srivaddhanaprabha family and the football club."

RT

Srivaddhanaprabha’s son Aiyawatt, who is the club’s vice-chairman, is widely expected to step into the role of chairman, and is said to support renaming the club’s stadium to the Khun Vichai Stadium, using the Thai honorific.  

RT

Some Leicester fans have already set up online petitions to rename the stadium in a mark of respect to their late owner.

READ MORE: Leicester City helicopter crash: Tributes laid as fans gather at stadium

Srivaddhanaprabha’s family visited the mass of memorials that have appeared near the crash site outside the club stadium on Sunday, accompanied by Leicester City players and staff.

RT

A wreath was laid in the center of the stadium’s pitch, with many players visibly upset, including goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel and striker Jamie Vardy.        

Many of the players posted social media tributes to a man they had affectionately referred to as “the boss.”

Former Leicester star Riyad Mahrez also dedicated his goal for Manchester City against Tottenham Hotspur on Monday to Srivaddhanaprabha.

READ MORE: ‘Like a dad...RIP boss’: Mahrez dedicates Wembley goal to tragic Leicester owner

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