Leicester City have confirmed the heartbreaking news that club chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, along with four other people, have lost their lives in a helicopter crash.
The incident occurred just outside the club’s King Power Stadium on Saturday night, shortly after Leicester’s 1-1 draw with West Ham in the Premier League.
Leicestershire Police believe that the other four people on board the helicopter were Mr Srivaddhanaprabha’s two members of staff Nursara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare, pilot Eric Swaffer and passenger Izabela Roza Lechowicz. Formal identification has not yet taken place, but all next of kin have been informed. Nobody else was injured.
Leicester won the Premier League title under Mr Srivaddhanaprabha’s ownership, overseeing a period of remarkable and unforeseen success at the club.
The club have on Sunday night issued a statement confirming the news.
The statement in full reads: “It is with the deepest regret and a collective broken heart that we confirm our Chairman, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, was among those to have tragically lost their lives on Saturday evening when a helicopter carrying him and four other people crashed outside King Power Stadium. None of the five people on-board survived.
“The primary thoughts of everyone at the Club are with the Srivaddhanaprabha family and the families of all those on-board at this time of unspeakable loss.
“In Khun Vichai, the world has lost a great man. A man of kindness, of generosity and a man whose life was defined by the love he devoted to his family and those he so successfully led. Leicester City was a family under his leadership. It is as a family that we will grieve his passing and maintain the pursuit of a vision for the Club that is now his legacy.
“A book of condolence, which will be shared with the Srivaddhanaprabha family, will be opened at King Power Stadium from 8am on Tuesday 30 October for supporters wishing to pay their respects.
“Supporters unable to visit King Power Stadium that wish to leave a message can do so through an online book of condolence, which will be made available via lcfc.com in due course.
“Both Tuesday’s First Team fixture against Southampton in the EFL Cup and the Development Squad fixture against Feyenoord in the Premier League International Cup have been postponed.
Leicestershire Police says the other four people on board the helicopter which crashed outside the King Power Stadium are believed to be Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha’s two members of staff Nursara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare, pilot Eric Swaffer and passenger Izabela Roza Lechowicz
— Sky News Breaking (@SkyNewsBreak) October 28, 2018
“Everyone at the Club has been truly touched by the remarkable response of the football family, whose thoughtful messages of support and solidarity have been deeply appreciated at this difficult time.”
The football world has on Sunday paid tribute to the victims of the helicopter crash, with thousands of supporters visiting the King Power Stadium to lay flowers.
A number of tributes to the victims have also poured in from around the world of football.
Thoughts & prayers for everyone concerned in Leicester helicopter crash… very sad and frightening..
— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) October 27, 2018
The thoughts of everyone at Liverpool Football Club are with Leicester City and those affected by events at the King Power Stadium this evening.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) October 27, 2018
Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone at @LCFC and all those affected by the terrible incident that occurred after today’s match at the King Power Stadium.
— PFA (@PFA) 27 October 2018
My thoughts and prayers are with all those involved in the helicopter accident at Leicester City.
— Pablo Zabaleta (@pablo_zabaleta) 27 October 2018
Witnessed the crash @LCFC last night with my wife. Absolutely devastated and in shock our thoughts and prays are with everybody involved and Leicester City
— Peter Shilton (@Peter_Shilton) October 28, 2018
We’re saddened by tonight’s incident and we’re all thinking of you at this difficult time ❤
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) 27 October 2018
That was the most difficult @BBCMOTD I’ve ever hosted. Thoughts are with everyone at Leicester City. A terrible tragedy. Heartbreaking.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) 27 October 2018
Our thoughts and prayers are with Leicester City Football Club and everybody affected by the incident at this time.