It’s not about football today
– Leicester return to action at the King Power Stadium today 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 prematch 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 ground along with four other people after his club’s 1-1 home draw on October 27.
His shocking death sent shockwaves through Leicester, where the charismatic Vichai had become a beloved figure in the club and the city.
It was under Vichai’s ownership that Leicester crafted one of the biggest fairytales in English football history by winning the 2015/16 Premier League, having started the season as 5,000-1 outsiders for the title.
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.
Tribute T-shirts will be worn by the players during their warmup and Khun Vichai’s name will be embroidered on the team’s shirts during the first half.
The second-half shirts will bear the embroidered poppy symbol in honour of those who have given their lives in war, with the match selected as the club’s annual remembrance fixture, 100 years after the end of World War I.
“We know our fans, they are fantastic ... there were 3 000 of them at our last game in Cardiff, it was a fantastic reunion with the fans,” Puel (above) said.
“After the game, there was a lot of emotion that we shared with them.”
Puel admitted preparing for the game against struggling Burnley had been tough, with emotions running high.
“It’s not easy to prepare this game, but the togetherness between us all, it’s a good feeling, a good energy, a fantastic strength,” he added. – AFP
After the game, there was a lot of emotion that we shared with them. Claude Puel Leicester City manager