Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha confirmed dead in chopper crash

English Premier League club Leicester City has confirmed that their Thai billionaire owner, along with other four people on board, were killed when his helicopter crashed outside a stadium

Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha confirmed dead in chopper crash

Leicester City owner and Thai billionaire Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha. (File Photo: AFP)

English Premier League club Leicester City has confirmed that its owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, a Thai billionaire based in London, died in the helicopter crash on Saturday night. There were four other persons on board the chopper that developed a mechanical failure moments after taking off from the club’s King Power Stadium in Leicester and crashed in a parking lot next to it around 8.30 pm BST.

The four were two members of Srivaddhanaprabha’s staff, the pilot and another passenger, the club said on Sunday night .

“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,” Leicester City said in a statement.


The club described the chairman as a “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”.


According to the statement, a book of condolences will be opened at the King Power Stadium at 8 am on Tuesday.

READ | Who was Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha? 6 facts about the Thai billionaire

Srivaddhanaprabha often flew to and from the Leicester stadium for home games. His helicopter landing on the middle of the pitch to ferry him was a familiar sight.

Leicester City had a match West Ham United on Saturday night, which they drew 1-1.  The crash occurred around an hour later.

Eyewitnesses saw how the helicopter crashed to the ground with a loud noise and turning into a giant ball of fire, seconds after clearing the 25 metre high stadium walls.

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was popular among fans who are visibly distraught after the news. They set up a makeshift memorial for the owner even before an official confirmation was made that he was indeed on the flight.

READ | Fans in shock after Leicester City helicopter crash

Srivaddhanaprabha also owned Oud-Heverlee Leuven, a Belgian second-division team.

On Sunday morning, a shirt displaying the badges of Leicester City and Oud-Heverlee Leuven was propped up against the King Power Stadium, along with a framed photograph of Hindu deity Ganesh and some flowers.


Leicester City
A man kneels with a statue of the Buddha and devotional scripture in front of the floral tributes gathered outside Leicester City Football Club’s King Power Stadium in Leicester, eastern England, on October 28, 2018. (Photo: AFP)


Srivaddhanaprabha bought Leicester City for $57 million in 2010. In 2014, the club was promoted to the Premier League, and it won the premiership in 2016 after going into the season with odds of 5,000-1 to win.

Srivaddhanaprabha was No. 388 on the Forbes’ billionaires list, with a net worth of $4.9 billion.

(With agency inputs)