Sports

Leicester opens book of condolence for Srivaddhanaprabha

Leicester opens book of condolence for Srivaddhanaprabha

Thai businessman Vichai died along with four others when his helicopter crashed and then exploded outside the club's King Power Stadium after a Premier League match.

Leicester's grieving players will take to the field for the first time since the death of the club's owner in a helicopter crash when they visit Cardiff for a Premier League game on Saturday.

The 60-year-old Thai billionaire was among five people killed when his helicopter crashed shortly after taking off from the King Power Stadium on Saturday evening.

"Following Saturday evening's awful events at King Power Stadium, the thoughts and feelings of Leicester City FC are at the forefront of our minds", Choo said in a statement on the club's website.

Many had left scarves and flowers outside the ground in the preceding days.

It remains to be seen whether Leicester's Premier League clash at Cardiff on Saturday will take place.

"I was terribly shaken by the news. He came into the locker room only to dispense kind words, never to reproach you", Ranieri told Sky Sport Italia.

Former Leicester manager Nigel Pearson, who guided the team away from relegation trouble the season before it won the Premier League in improbable fashion in 2016, said Vichai's "quiet yet authoritative aura, presence and personality have had an immeasurable influence on English football".

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Despite his parting of ways, Pearson was full of praise for Vichai's contribution to Leicester's fairytale. He made Leicester City into a family.

Pearson said that "On a personal level, a manager could not have wished for a better boss".

"I'm sure the wider football world will offer some solace for his loved ones".

A minute's silence will be held ahead of the 3pm kickoff at the Cardiff City Stadium, and both sets of players will wear black armbands.

Leicester's English League Cup match against Southampton, scheduled for Tuesday, had been canceled, while games involving the club's women's team were also called off in wake of the crash.

"It is with extreme difficulty that I write to express and offer my honest condolences and support to the Srivaddhanaprabha and wider King Power family", Pearson said in a statement on Leuven's website.

Four others on board, including two members of Srivaddhanaprabha's staff, Nursara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare, as well as pilot Eric Swaffer and passenger Izabela Roza Lechowicz, died in the crash.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) continue to conduct its investigations as it tries to establish what caused Saturday's tragedy.


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