Footballers and high-profile sporting figures have expressed their shock after a helicopter often used by Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha crashed outside the King Power Stadium.
Srivaddhanaprabha died in the crash which was “one of the most horrendous things anybody could ever see”, says former England keeper Peter Shilton.
Ex-Leicester player Shilton and wife Steph witnessed the crash outside King Power Stadium on 27 October.
Two members of staff, the pilot and a passenger were also killed after the aircraft spiralled out of control. Leicestershire Police named the other people who died in the crash as Nursara Suknamai, Kaveporn Punpare, pilot Eric Swaffer and his partner Izabela Roza Lechowicz.
“It will live with us forever,” Shilton told the BBC.
The 69-year-old said the helicopter “seemed to be making a funny noise and started to spin” above them as they were walking to their car following the 1-1 draw with West Ham.
It crashed into a car park at the stadium and was engulfed in flames.
Srivaddhanaprabha’s wife, Aimon, and son, Aiyawatt, laid a wreath in the middle of the pitch at the stadium on 29 October before embracing the Leicester players and staff gathered around the centre circle.
Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel earlier led his team-mates in paying tribute to the owner that many of them referred to as “The Boss”.
Srivaddhanaprabha bought Leicester in 2010, helping them to win promotion to the top light in 2014 before the club claimed the 2015-16 Premier League title – despite odds of 5,000-1 – in one of the greatest sporting stories of all time.
During his stewardship of the club, he also donated £2m to the Leicester Children’s Hospital charity, £1m to the Foxes Foundation for community causes and £1m to Leicester University’s medical department.
‘A great man who did so much for the city’
“Leicester has lost a great man who did so much for the city,” said Shilton.
Manchester City forward Riyad Mahrez said Srivaddhanaprabha was “like a dad to me” after dedicating his match-winning goal against Tottenham to the late Leicester owner.
“He was such a good person and had a big heart. It was heart-breaking and shocking for me to hear this news and for all the other people who died with him. I am with Leicester and the family of the victims.”
Players and pundits alike shared their horror at the events following the game between Leicester and West Ham.
BBC Match Of The Day host Gary Lineker said it was the “most difficult BBCMOTD I’ve ever hosted”, calling the crash a “terrible tragedy” and “heart-breaking”.
BT Sport host Jake Humphrey said everyone was evacuated from the stadium in the aftermath of the incident, adding that “huge numbers” of emergency service crews were at the scene.
Robbie Savage called it an “absolutely terrible terrible day”, while Gabby Logan said she could not stop thinking of the club.
Dozens of English football clubs also tweeted their support for Leicester, while the Football Association said: “Our thoughts are with all at LCFC following the major incident after their game at the King Power Stadium.”
Photo Credit: BBC News