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Leicester City have confirmed that the club’s owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha has died after his personal helicopter crashed in a car park near the King Power Stadium on Saturday following Leicester’s 1-1 draw against West Ham.
Besides Srivaddhanaprabha, there were four other people on the helicopter- pilot Eric Swaffer, passenger Izabela Roza Lechowicz and two members of Srivaddhanaprabha’s staff.
The helicopter crashed and burst into flames just after taking off. No one survived.
A statement from Leicester City read, “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.
A book of condolence, which will be shared with the Srivaddhanaprabha family, will be opened at King Power Stadium from 8am on Tuesday 30 October, for supporters wishing to pay their respects. Supporters unable to visit King Power Stadium that wish to leave a message can do so through an online book of condolence, which will be made available via lcfc.com in due course.Both Tuesday’s First Team fixture against Southampton in the EFL Cup and the Development Squad fixture against Feyenoord in the Premier League International Cup have been postponed. 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 difficult time.”
Srivaddhanaprabha, 60, was one of Thailand’s richest men with a net worth of nearly $5 billion. He founded the King Power international group in 1989. King Power is now Thailand’s largest travel retail group.
Srivaddhanaprabha became the owner of Leicester City in 2010, succeeding Serbian-American businessman Milan Mandaric as the club’s chairman. When Srivaddhanaprabha became the owner of the club, it was playing in the Championship.
Under his ownership, Leicester City won the Championship in the 2013-14 season and gained promotion to the Premier League. The 2014-15 season was Leicester City’s first appearance in the Premier League since the 2003-04 season. Leicester City’s finest hour came in May, 2016 when they won the Premier League title.