Leicester City football club fell silent on Saturday, as they paid their tribute to the late chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha ahead of the first home match since the helicopter crash at the King Power stadium two weeks ago.
Before the Premier League match against Burnley, a special tribute video was displayed on the big screens titled “Tribute to Khun Vichai”, apart from which a huge banner was unfurled reading: “Khun Vichai, Forever in our Hearts.”
Following this, the stadium maintained silence in the honour of the late Thai owner, fans held special scarves in memory of their late chairman and to remember servicemen and women killed in wars on the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.
The silence was broken later, as chants of “We love you Leicester, we do”, “I’m Leicester till I die” and simply “Vichai” ensued.
Following Vichai’s death, the week was an emotional one for the entire football world, but in particular, those associated with Leicester City football club. On match week 11, all the Premier League clubs observed a minute silence and wore black armbands in his honour.
Scenes after the helicopter crash:
The Thai owner, who had done so much for the club – from clearing all the debts, and seeing the side be promoted to the Premier League to playing a vital role in their historic fairy-tale league winning season. Vichai was also a charitable man and contributed in many ways to the city of Leicester in England.
“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.
(Quotes – AFP)