Emotional tribute in Leicester to ‘the Boss’
Leicester City’s players, staff and supporters paid a moving tribute to Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha in their first game back at the King Power Stadium since the helicopter crash that claimed the life of the club’s owner and four others a fortnight ago.
On a poignant afternoon in Leicester, the stadium fell silent not only for two minutes before kickoff – this was also the club’s annual Remembrance fixture – but also during a touching and beautifully puttogether video of Vichai that was shown on the giant screens inside the ground. “Without him, none of it [the 2016 title win] would have been possible,” said Alan Birchenall, the club ambassador and former Leicester player, as he stood in the centre of the pitch addressing the crowd.
“Champions of England, you made us sing that,” reverberated around the ground time and again as Vichai’s son Aiyawatt, who is Leicester’s vicechairman, looked on from the stands. Leicester supporters held commemorative scarves emblazoned with the message “Forever in our hearts” above their heads in tribute to the owner who made their dreams come true.
Earlier in the day, thousands of supporters took part in a memorial walk that was the brainchild of two Leicester schoolgirls. Harry Maguire, Andy King, James Maddison, Matty James and Hamza Choudhury were among the Leicester players who joined fans as they marched from Jubilee Square, in the city centre, to King Power Stadium, singing Vichai’s name.
The sea of floral tributes placed outside the stadium in the aftermath of the tragedy had been moved on Friday, with the help of more than 200 volunteers, to an area close to the accident site, where fans flocked before kick-off to pay their respect.
A sea of floral tributes in Leicester.