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National Sport

Obituary: Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha

The Leicester City chairman led a quiet revolution and helped deliver arguably the greatest sporting triumph in footballing history

It is with the deepest sadness to report on the recent tragedy which has sent the football world into a state of shock. On the evening of 27th October 2018, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four other people were killed in the crash outside King Power Stadium. Srivaddhanaprabha was Leicester City’s owner and was key in Leicester City’s historic 2015/16 title winning run. Securing key assets in the form of N’Golo Kante and Riyad Mahrez and hiring manager Claudio Ranieri. Srivaddhanaprabha is, and forever will be, considered family by the players and the coaching staff at the club.

Srivaddhanaprabha bought Leicester City football club in 2010, and helped the club improve dramatically, leading the club to their first ever Premier League trophy. The father of four was with two members of his staff along with the helicopter pilots Eric Swaffer and Izabela Roza Lechowicz.

It’s a very sad loss, as many fans looked up to Srivaddhanaprabha as a father figure at the club. He gained a perception which many club owners fail to possess. His endless work brought Leicester back to the forefront of each English football despite not possessing the same financial clout as the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United. He was described as a “Lovely, quiet, down to earth man” who was a very charitable and a delight to meet.

Leicester striker Jamie Vardy has been highly vocal on his feelings toward the chairman, saying “we need to make sure we do him proud on the pitch” as Leicester City played their first match against Cardiff since the tragic incident. Thankfully, justice was done, with Leicester narrowly beating Cardiff 0-1. All of Leicester City players were granted the opportunity to attend Srivaddhanaprabha’s funeral in Thailand on the same Saturday which will last all week.

It was a very sad week for football indeed, but what we take away from this is the impact sport has on people’s lives. Take away the top scorer or a highly strategic coach, the owner himself can do good for members of the club and the community in many unsung ways. The Leicester side who won in 2015 came out of nowhere, with small signings and the right tactics managed to take the league by storm. He was an inspiration and will continue to be one for the club and community. Rest in Peace Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, you will be missed and thank you for your impact on the sporting community.

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