Leicester to honour owner with statue as managers are reunited
Claudio Ranieri, Nigel Pearson and Craig Shakespeare – three former Leicester City managers – will be guests of the club today when an emotional tribute will be paid to Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.
The club have also announced plans to build a statue at the King Power Stadium in honour of their late owner, who died in a helicopter crash outside the ground two weeks ago.
Ranieri guided Leicester to the Premier League title in 2016 and is making his first return to his former club for a competitive fixture since his sacking in February last year.
Pearson and Shakespeare, who helped to lay the foundations for the title triumph, will also be making their first appearance since they left Leicester.
Sven-goran Eriksson, the first managerial appointment following the Srivaddhanaprabha takeover in 2010, has been invited to the match against Burnley but is expected to miss it due to prior commitments.
It is understood that Esteban Cambiasso, the Argentina midfielder who made a memorable impression in his one season, 2014-15, will attend, while two members of the title-winning squad, Riyad Mahrez and N’golo Kante, will pay tribute in the 100-page match programme.
It promises to be a hugely moving afternoon for the club, in their first home game since the tragedy. There will be a memorial video, a commemorative banner and two minutes’ silence, which also serves as a Remembrance tribute.
Srivaddhanaprabha’s son, Leicester vice-chairman Aiyawatt, will be present along with other family members. Aiyawatt has been in Thailand this week for his father’s seven-day funeral. Leicester’s squad and staff attended earlier in the week.
In a personal tribute in a souvenir programme which will be given to all fans today, Aiyawatt says of Vichai: “We are committed to honouring his memory and upholding his legacy.
“I plan to commission a statue of my father, for outside King Power Stadium, as a permanent and fitting tribute to the man that made it all possible. He will forever be in our hearts. He will never be forgotten.”