Football

Tributes continue to Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha after his death last Saturday.

Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha pays emotional tribute to father Vichai

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Leicester vice chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha has paid an emotional tribute to his father Vichai and promised to continue his legacy after the Foxes chairman’s death.

The 33-year-old, known as ‘Top’, posted on Instagram on Wednesday following Saturday’s helicopter crash which claimed the lives of five people.

Top laid a wreath with his mother Aimon at the King Power Stadium on Monday while he also viewed the tributes with the squad.

“I would like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for this overwhelming support,” he wrote in a post which also appeared on the club’s Thai Instagram account.

“What happened made me realise how important my dad was to many people all over the world and I am touched by how many people kept him close to their hearts.

“I am extremely proud to have such an extraordinary father. From him I have received a very big mission and legacy to pass on and I intend to do just that.

“I know I will receive the support to make this happen and I am so grateful for all your messages and kind words.

“For a long time, my father taught me to be strong and to take care of my family. He had a way of teaching me about life and work without making it seem like a lesson. He was my mentor and role model.

“Today, he left me with a legacy to continue and I will do everything I can to carry on his big vision and dreams.

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“My family and I would like to thank each and every one of you for your sincere kindness and good intentions during the most difficult time for us.

“I miss you dad, with all of my heart.”

The tribute comes before the five of the club’s main fan groups meet on Wednesday to plan their homage to the owner.

The Supporters’ Club, the Foxes Trust, the Disabled Supporters Association, Foxes Pride and Union FS will discuss the best way to pay their respects at the next home match against Burnley.

A mosaic and a flag are under consideration.

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Cliff Ginnetta, chairman of the Supporters’ Club, said: “This has shaken everyone to the core. He was the boss, he was part of the fabric.

“There’ll be an outpouring of grief for the Burnley game. We’ve got a meeting tonight (Wednesday) to sort things out.

“You saw him in the stand, always with his scarf on, and it’s amazing the difference he made and how he was so respected by the fans.”

They are also planning to participate in a march from the city centre to the King Power Stadium before Burnley’s November 10 visit, the first home game since the accident.

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It is hoped 5,000 supporters will take part – in reference to the 5,000-1 title odds the Foxes had before their shock Premier League win in 2016.

Leicester will play Saturday’s Premier League game at Cardiff after Tuesday’s Carabao Cup game with Southampton was postponed following the accident.

Ginnetta agreed it was the right decision, with the fans planning a 60th-minute tribute to Srivaddhanaprabha on Saturday by singing the club’s anthem ‘When You’re Smiling’.

He added: “It is the right call, we thought it would be down to the players. We’re pleased it’s on so we can show our appreciation. It’s going to be hard. The players won’t need any motivation and there’ll be some tears.”

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The Foxes will go to Wales by road on Friday after making the decision flying would be insensitive given the circumstances of Srivaddhanaprabha’s death.

Books of condolence have been opened at the King Power Stadium and are available from 8am to 10pm every day. An online book can also be signed via the club’s website.

Two members of the chairman’s staff, Nursara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare, and pilot Eric Swaffer and his partner Izabela Roza Lechowicz also died in the crash.

Tributes from fans and players have continued to grow outside the club’s North Stand while a group of Buddhist monks held a service on Tuesday.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Leicester City

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