Leicester fans march in honour of late Thai owner
Leicester City fans marched in their thousands towards the King Power Stadium on Saturday, kicking off a series of emotional tributes to late owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha two weeks after he was killed in a helicopter crash, reports.
supporters braved the pouring rain as they made their way through the streets towards the ground for the first home match since the tragedy holding Leicester flags and wearing club shirts, some with “Vichai” on the back.
There was a subdued atmosphere but pockets of chanting, including “We love you Leicester, we do”, “I’m Leicester till I die” and simply “Vichai”.
Under Vichai’s ownership, Leicester produced one of the biggest upsets in English football history by winning the 2015/16 Premier League, having started the season as 5,000-1 outsiders for the title.
Saturday’s walk was called the 5,000-1 walk in recognition of that astonishing achievement.
The charismatic Thai had become a beloved figure in the club and the city — a feat rarely achieved by Premier League clubs’ often distant billionaire owners.
“No chairman has done what he’s done with Leicester City. I respect all he’s done and not just for the football club, also charity-wise,” said fan Jake Tilson, 35.
“He’s a legend. I think football can learn from him and the way he gave to the local community.”
Another supporter, Don Martin, said, “It seems like it’s a celebration but it’s one of the saddest days for the club. It’s recognition for the chairman.
“I’m confident about the future. Top (Vichai’s son) and the rest of the family will carry on his father’s legacy. There is no doubt about that,” added the 57-year-old.
Meanwhile, the club have announced plans to erect a statue of Vichai at the stadium.
His son Aiyawatt, the club’s vice-chairman who is known as Top, wrote in Saturday’s match programme, “We will never be able to repay what he did for us — for me as his son, us as his family, everyone connected to Leicester City and beyond — but we are committed to honouring his memory and upholding his legacy.”