Christopher Chrysostomou

​Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha has been remembered as a generous man who played a pivotal role in Leicester’s title win.

Srivaddhanaprabha tragically died on Sunday when a helicopter carrying him and four other passengers crashed in the King Power Stadium car park.

The Thai billionaire has been an ever present at Leicester games since buying the club in 2010.

Srivaddhanaprabha oversaw the Foxes promotion to the Premier League and their amazing championship in 2015-16, which will go down as one of sports greatest ever underdog stories.

Melbourne City defender Ritchie de Laet was part of the Leicester title-winning team and told the Herald Sun’s David Davutovic that Srivaddhanaprabha played a crucial role in the underdog story.

“He just wanted to see a smile on your face. All the players had [relationships with him],” De Laet told the Herald Sun.

“He would speak with us, eat with us, ask how the family was. He took us for meals in London when we played there.

“(To fans) he gave out free scarfs, free pies, a free pint with a pie, them real horrible clappers that made the horrible sound — but it created an atmosphere in the stadium. That was all him, he didn’t have to do it. Those little things made the difference.

“It’s tragic. Probably couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.”

De Laet’s former teammates have also paid tribute to the Leicester owner; with goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel saying it was an “honour” to work with Srivaddhanaprabha.

“It is difficult to put into words how much you meant to this football club and to the city of Leicester. Never have I ever come across a man like you. So hard working, so passionate, so kind and so generous in the extreme,” Schmeichel posted on Instagram.

“You changed football. Forever! You gave hope to everyone that the impossible was possible. You literally made my dreams come true.”

Srivaddhanaprabha made it his aim to unite the Leicester community.

He treated fans to free breakfasts, food, scarves, free away travel and free beers.

Srivaddhanaprabha also donated $ 1 million to the Leicester Royal Infirmary and to Leicester University’s medical department.

He also injected $2 million towards the new children’s hospital.

In the wake of his death, family, players and the Leicester community have swelled to the King Power stadium to pay tribute to Srivaddhanaprabha.

Srivaddhanaprabha will not only be remembered as the man who brought sport it’s greatest ever fairy tale. He will also be known as the man who united an entire town.

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Jeremy Tay
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