Le­ices­ter’s late owner to get emo­tional farewell

Daily Dispatch - - Sport -

Le­ices­ter re­turn to ac­tion at the King Power Sta­dium on Sat­ur­day with foot­ball a mere af­ter­thought as fans pre­pare to pay heart­felt trib­ute to the man who turned their dreams into as­ton­ish­ing re­al­ity.

Man­ager Claude Puel’s pre-match prepa­ra­tions for the game against Burn­ley were dis­rupted af­ter he and a num­ber of play­ers, in­clud­ing Jamie Vardy and Kasper Sch­me­ichel, trav­elled to Thai­land to pay re­spects to the late Vichai Sri­vad­dhanaprabha.

Le­ices­ter owner Vichai was killed in a he­li­copter crash just out­side the foot­ball ground along with four other peo­ple af­ter his club’s 1-1 draw at their King Power Sta­dium on Oc­to­ber 27.

His shock­ing death – mo­ments af­ter tak­ing off from the pitch – sent shock waves through Le­ices­ter, where the charis­matic Vichai had be­come a beloved fig­ure in the club and the city – a feat rarely achieved by Pre­mier League clubs’ bil­lion­aire own­ers.

It was un­der Vichai’s own­er­ship that Le­ices­ter crafted one of the big­gest fairy­tales in English foot­ball his­tory by win­ning the 201516 Pre­mier League, hav­ing started the sea­son as 5,000-1 out­siders for the ti­tle.

The team, cur­rently 10th in the Pre­mier League, re­turned to ac­tion last week­end, beat­ing Cardiff 1-0 away, but on Sat­ur­day the play­ers will have a chance, be­fore what is ex­pected to be a ca­pac­ity crowd. to show their ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the man who trans­formed their club.

A spe­cial “Trib­ute to Khun Vichai” video will be shown on big screens be­fore kick-off fol­lowed by a two-minute si­lence and fans will re­ceive com­mem­o­ra­tive scarves and sou­venir match­day pro­grammes in hon­our of the club’s late chair­man. –

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