Leicester City Thai owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha has been confirmed to have died in the helicopter crash that took place outside King Power Stadium on Saturday night. The 60-year-old businessman was among the five people in the aircraft who have died in the incident. In a statement, the club described Vichai as “a great man”. “In Khun Vichai, the world has lost a great man. A man of kindness, of generosity and a man whose life was defined by the love he devoted to his family and those he successfully led,” the statement read.
“Leicester City was a family under his leadership. It is as a family that we will grieve his passing and maintain the pursuit of a vision for the Club that is now his legacy,” the statement further added.
Born as Vichai Raksriaksorn on April 3, 1957, in Bangkok, Thailand, he was given the name ‘Srivaddhanaprabha’, meaning “the light of auspicious prosperity”, was given to him in 2013 by then-King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand for his service to the people of the country.
The business magnate opened King Power in 1989 with a duty-free shop in downtown Bangkok. Being an avid polo player, Vichai also founded the Thailand Polo Association in 1988, and later went on to own the VR Polo Club in Bangkok. He was also the president of Ham Polo Club in London from 2008 to 2012.
In August 2010, the Asia Football Investments consortium including Srivaddhanaprabha and his son Aiyawatt bought the then, Football League Championship club Leicester City. In February 2011, he took over the role of chairman of the club from Milan Mandaric while his son became the vice chairman. The club’s homeground was renamed from Walkers Stadium to King Power Stadium in July 2011.
Under his ownership, Leicester went on to get promoted to Premier League stage and then went on to script a historic title-winning run in the 2015-16 for the first time. In May, 2017, Vichai bought another football club, OH Leuven in Belgium.
Vichai, who leaves behind wife AImon Srivaddhanaprabha, and four sons, Voramas, Apichet, Aroonroong, and Aiyawatt. is currently listed at No. 388 on the Forbes billionaire list, with a net worth of $4.9 billion.
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