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Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was killed when his helicopter crashed outside the King Power Stadium on Saturday, the club confirmed on Sunday:
After the confirmation of the news, Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel posted a tribute to Srivaddhanaprabha on Twitter:
The crash occurred following the Foxes’ match with West Ham United in the Premier League. Tributes to those involved in the crash were laid at the stadium on Sunday:
BBC Leicester Sport @BBCRLSport
The crowd is getting bigger and bigger here at King Power Stadium. https://t.co/MoDTaY3f1S
It’s been commonplace for the owner’s helicopter to land on the pitch at the stadium following matches before flying him out of the stadium.
Per BBC, “witnesses said they saw it just clear the stadium before it spiralled out of control and crashed in a fireball.“
Broadcaster Geoff Peters provided footage of the aftermath of the incident:
Mr Geoff Peters @mrgeoffpeters
Theres a major incident by the King Power Stadium. Emergency services attending. https://t.co/GtAbo6AHpD
Srivaddhanaprabha, worth £3.8 billion according to Forbes, founded King Power Duty Free and purchased Leicester in 2010 when they were in the second tier of English football.
The club enjoyed a remarkable rise under his guidance, earning promotion to the top flight and then sensationally winning the Premier League title in the 2015-16 campaign. The triumph was regarded as one of the biggest shocks in football history, with the Foxes famously 5,000-1 outsiders at the start of the campaign.
James Sharpe of the MailOnline paid tribute to the 60-year-old in a piece following the crash.
“To Leicester supporters, like me, he is the man who allowed us dream, to stand at the top of the mountain, and give hope to every other fan of every other club that anything is possible,” he said. “… So, to put into perspective and words quite how huge an impact Srivaddhanaprabha has had on Leicester—not just as a club but also a city—is a near impossible task.”
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Per Sky News, Srivaddhanaprabha was a popular figure with Foxes supporters, as he would often provide free hot dogs and beers for supporters on his birthday.
Leicester’s next scheduled match on Tuesday at the King Power Stadium against Southampton in the Carabao Cup has been postponed.
Following the crash, the match between Leicester’s women’s team and Manchester United Women on Sunday in the FA Women’s Championship was postponed, per Sky Sports News.