The funeral of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha will take place at a Buddhist temple in Bangkok this weekend following his tragic death in a helicopter last Saturday.
The Leicester City owner passed away along with four other people onboard when the helicopter they were travelling in crashed in a car park near the King Power Stadium shortly after take-off. The horrific incident occurred around one hour after the Foxes’ 1-1 draw against West Ham United.
Leicester’s players had an excellent relationship with Srivaddhanaprabha, who they affectionately referred to as ‘The Boss’, and they will fly to Bangkok to say goodbye to the Thai owner following their Premier League clash against Cardiff City on Saturday afternoon.
Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel will, of course, be among them.
It was revealed earlier this week that the Denmark international had attempted to rush towards the burning helicopter in order to help those onboard, but was prevented from doing so by police.
Sky Sports’ reporter Rob Dorsett has now revealed further details about Schmeichel’s admirable actions in the aftermath of the tragedy – and he deserves the utmost respect.
Dorsett, who was at the King Power when the tragedy occurred, wrote a detailed account about the past few days for Sky Sports.
And on Schmeichel, he’s revealed: “In the immediate aftermath of the crash, he was the last player standing.
“He stayed at the King Power Stadium until the early hours of the morning, consoling other members of staff, sharing the grief of Vichai’s closest friends and associates.
“He was the first to address his teammates, at the training ground on Monday, calling on them to keep delivering Vichai’s vision.
“For all this, he’s grown still further in the hearts of the Leicester fans.”
Fair play to Schmeichel, whose actions in the minutes, hours and days after this awful tragedy have been commendable and should never be forgotten.
Dorsett also revealed just how close Schmeichel and Srivaddhanaprabha were.
“I’d been told shortly after the tragedy that Schmeichel had seen the helicopter come down, at 8.37 on Saturday night, and that he’d run towards the burning wreckage to see If he could help. Manager Claude Puel confirmed as much in his news conference on Thursday, without going into detail,” he added.
“That one horrendous story, says so much. Not just about the goalkeeper’s courage, but also about his unique relationship with his Chairman. Kasper was the closest of all the Leicester players to Vichai. The two men spent a lot of time together. They enjoyed each other’s company. They got on.
“A few years ago, Vichai loaned Schmeichel his helicopter to get him back to a family holiday quickly, after he had to return for an advertising shoot at the club. How poignant that seems now.
“Vichai used to seek Kasper’s counsel when big decisions were pending. The Dane was accused – wrongly – of playing a role in the decision-making process when Claudio Ranieri was controversially sacked in February 2017 just nine months after Leicester had won the title.
“But he did have huge influence over Vichai. The two men regularly chatted about performances, styles of play, even tactics.
“And now, on Monday lunchtime, here was this huge man – physically and metaphorically – reduced to tears. Many of the players have tweeted that Vichai was like a father to them. For Kasper, it was especially the case.”