herald

Tuesday 19 November 2019

Leicester open a fitting tribute to chairman a year after crash

General view of the Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Memorial Garden, Leicester. PA Photo
General view of the Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Memorial Garden, Leicester. PA Photo

Leicester have opened the Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Memorial Garden a year on since the helicopter crash which claimed the life of their former chairman.

Srivaddhanaprabha and four others died when their helicopter came down outside the King Power Stadium following a 1-1 draw with West Ham 12 months ago.

Staff members Kaveporn Punpare and Nusara Suknamai, and pilots Eric Swaffer and Izabela Lechowicz also lost their lives in the accident.

Hundreds of fans came to pay their respects at the King Power Stadium yesterday after a private ceremony for club staff.

Chairman of the official supporters' club Cliff Ginnetta said: "It's a tranquil corner where anyone can go and sit and reflect. They've got it right again. He turned up many years back and transformed not just the football club but the thinking of the city.

Tribute

"It's a tribute to what he's done. When he took over we were all 'who is this guy?' but they came in and slowly transformed it."

Jamie Vardy helped plant flowers in the garden last week while there is a bronze bust of Khun Vichai's dog, Hero, and a floral tribute from West Ham.

The garden, located on the accident site in the south-east corner of stadium, is an all-season garden including flowers and features of significance to Khun Vichai and the Srivaddhanaprabha family.

Left-back Ben Chilwell also dedicated Friday's record-breaking 9-0 win at Southampton to Srivaddhanaprabha, writing on Twitter: "That one was for the boss."

Srivaddhanaprabha bought the Foxes in 2010 and they won a shock Premier League title in 2016. Brendan Rodgers' side are currently third in the top flight after their thrashing of Southampton.

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