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Leicester City fans come together to pay tribute to late owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha

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Leicester City fans come together to pay tribute to late owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha as Foxes mark a year since Thai businessman died in tragic helicopter accident along with four others

  • Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha tragically died in a helicopter accident last year
  • Fans paid tribute to the late owner before Saturday’s game with Burnley 
  • Players wore special warm up tops while fans walked to the ground together
  • Flowers were laid outside the ground and in a nearby park for the former owner 

Leicester City fans came together to pay tribute to former owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha as the Foxes marked a year since the passing of the Thai businessmen. 

The 60-year-old died in tragic circumstances in October last year after his helicopter crashed outside the King Power Stadium, killing all on board the aircraft. 

His death had hit everybody associated with the club hard. Khun Vichai had been at the helm to guide the east Midlands club from the Championship to their remarkable Premier League title win in 2016. 

Leicester fans paid tribute to their late chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha on Saturday

Leicester fans paid tribute to their late chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha on Saturday

#walkforvichai saw fans walk together to the King Power Stadium to pay respects to the man

#walkforvichai saw fans walk together to the King Power Stadium to pay respects to the man

Khun Vichai tragically passed away last October after a helicopter accident at the stadium

Khun Vichai tragically passed away last October after a helicopter accident at the stadium

Fans were out in force to pay their respects to the former chairman on Saturday. Supporters walked together to the ground ahead of the Foxes game against Burnley in the Premier League, in what was called #walkforvichai.

Approximately 5,000 supporters walked from Magazine Square in the city to the King Power Stadium in large numbers on Saturday afternoon.  

Flags with Vichai’s face and a banner with the hashtag were displayed on the walk with a large number of fans joining to pay tribute, and fans were given commemorative scarves to hold up during a minute’s silence before the game.  

The Leicester squad wore special commemorative warm up tops before the game with Vichai’s initials emblazoned, while floral tributes were assembled outside the ground as well as in a nearby park. 

On the 60th minute the King Power stadium came to a standstill as fans stood and stretched their scarves aloft for Vichai – the 60th minute to reflect the Thai’s age at the time of his death.   

The emotional backdrop to Saturday’s game has added extra incentive for Leicester who have been in fine form this season. 

Fans displayed commemorative scarves made for Khun Vichai during the minute silence

Fans displayed commemorative scarves made for Khun Vichai during the minute silence

Plenty of banners were created by supporters to show their love for the late chairman

Plenty of banners were created by supporters to show their love for the late chairman

Floral tributes were laid for Khun Vichai, whose death hit the community hard last year

Floral tributes were laid for Khun Vichai, whose death hit the community hard last year

A floral tribute was on display in a nearby park as fans put flowers down in front of a portrait

A floral tribute was on display in a nearby park as fans put flowers down in front of a portrait

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One woman kneels to place flowers in front of a big portrait of the former owner

One woman kneels to place flowers in front of a big portrait of the former owner 

Vichai had guided Leicester to their remarkable title victory in 2016 under Claudio Ranieri

Vichai had guided Leicester to their remarkable title victory in 2016 under Claudio Ranieri

Manager Brendan Rodgers vowed to honour the fighting spirit of the late chairman in the Premier League contest. 

‘The year has gone so fast but it comes upon us and the club will show the solidarity on and off the pitch that was really created by Khun Vichai,’ he said. 

‘Everyone will look from the outside at the financial input. But the feeling he gave people, the players and staff, you cannot buy that.

‘He was close to many people at the club and the players had a real affinity with him and still do. There will be a lot of emotion on and off the pitch these next five games.’

As well as the much-beloved owner, four others were killed in the tragic accident last October.

Kaveporn Punpare and Nusara Suknamai – who were two members of Vichai’s staff -died in the crash as well as pilots Eric Swaffer and Izabela Roza. Swaffa and Roza were partners too.

In a series of events set to mark the anniversary of his passing, a park is set to be named after Vichai close to the ground. A similar walk took place to the one seen on Saturday afternoon two weeks after the crash itself.

That walk was called the 5000-1 walk – a tribute to Vichai’s contributions to Leicester’s remarkable title success back in 2016, where they were large underdogs to lift the Premier League trophy.  

Fans displayed specially-made scarves for their much-loved former owner Khun Vichai

Fans displayed specially-made scarves for their much-loved former owner Khun Vichai

Leicester players wore special commemorative warm up tops before kick off against Burnley

Leicester players wore special commemorative warm up tops before kick off against Burnley

 

 

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