Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the owner of Leicester City whose helicopter crashed Saturday outside the King Power Stadium in Leicestershire, England, is a Thai billionaire who is credited with turning around the club’s fortunes.
The AgustaWestland helicopter owned by him crashed shortly after taking off from the Premier League club’s stadium on Saturday night following a match against West Ham.
There are growing concerns about Srivaddhanaprabha, 61, as a BBC report, quoting a source close to the family, said he was on board the chopper when it crashed. The charismatic businessman is known to frequently fly to and from Leicester’s home games in his helicopter.
There has been no confirmation from the club if the the London-based businessman was in the helicopter when it took off from the stadium.
The helicopter appeared to have developed some mechanical problems due to which it crashed.
Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha has gained immense popularity among football fans ever since the hitherto unknown club won the Premier League in 2016, just six years after the billionaire bought it and two years after it was promoted to the league.
Here are 10 interesting facts about Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.
1. Sixty-one-year-old Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha bought the Leicester City Football Club for $57 million in 2010. In 2014, it was promoted to the Premier League, and in two years’ time, in 2016, the club won the premiership.
2. Vichai has rarely given interviews. He has always preferred to let his son Aiyawatt, who is known as “Top”, do the talking on behalf of the family.
3. The avuncular Vichai is himself an accomplished polo player and is popular among Leicester fans for handing free beer and doughnuts at King Power Stadium.
4. His surname, Srivaddhanaprabha, means “light of progressive glory”. A royal surname, it was bestowed on him by Thailand’s late king Bhumibol Adulyadej in 2013.
5. Vichai founded King Power in 1989 with a single shop in Bangkok and went on building a multi-billion-dollar empire in a few years.
6. A devout Buddhist, Srivaddhanaprabha brought Thai monks to Leicester to bless the pitch and give lucky amulets to the players.