Leicester

Leicester City helicopter crash: Son hails 'extraordinary father'

Mr Vichai and Top Image copyright AFP
Image caption Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha says he intends to carry on his father's "mission"

The son of Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha has thanked people for their "overwhelming support" following his father's death.

Aiyawatt, known as Top, said he was "extremely proud to have such an extraordinary father" after he died in a helicopter crash on Saturday night.

He said he would now try to carry on his father's "big vision and dreams".

Mr Vichai, two members of staff, the pilot and his partner all died in the crash outside the King Power Stadium.

On Monday, Aiyawatt laid a wreath with his mother and Mr Vichai's wife, Aimon, outside the stadium, where thousands of tributes have been left by fans and well-wishers.

A book of condolence has opened at the ground to those who died and buildings have been turned blue in tribute.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Thai billionaire Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha purchased Leicester City in 2010

In a statement, Mr Vichai's son thanked people for their kind messages on behalf of the whole family, and the emergency services for their response on the night of the crash.

He wrote: "What happened made me realise how important my dad was to many people all over the world and I'm touched by how many people have kept him close to their hearts.

"From him I have received a very big mission and legacy to pass on and I intend to do just that."

Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption Mr Vichai's wife Aimon and son Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha visited the King Power Stadium on Monday

Mr Aiyawatt called his father a "mentor" and "role model", adding: "He made Leicester City into a family.

"And nothing would make him prouder than to see how the Leicester City family that he built is supporting each other through a time of such sadness."

Thousands of floral tributes, football scarves and shirts from teams around the country have been laid at a memorial outside the stadium.

Leicester City's EFL Cup tie against Southampton on Tuesday was postponed but the club confirmed their Premier League match against Cardiff on Saturday would go ahead.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionLeicester City players held a minute silence inside the stadium

Nusara Suknamai, Kaveporn Punpare, and pilots and partners Eric Swaffer and Izabela Roza Lechowicz also died in the crash on Saturday.

Police have said Ms Lechowicz was a passenger at the time of the crash.

An investigation into the cause of the crash, which saw the helicopter spiral out of control, is under way with the aircraft's digital flight data recorder already recovered.

On Wednesday, coroners for Leicester said formal identification of 60-year-old Mr Vichai and 32-year-old Ms Nusara had taken place.

Others are still in progress and no date for inquests has yet been set.

Image copyright Getty Images/Facebook/Instagram
Image caption (L-R): Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, Kaveporn Punpare, Nusara Suknamai, Izabela Roza Lechowicz and Eric Swaffer were killed in the crash

Follow BBC East Midlands on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Send your story ideas to eastmidsnews@bbc.co.uk.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites