Leicester helicopter crash: Andy King pays tribute to chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha

Tributes and flowers have been laid at Leicester City's King Power Stadium following the death of chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four other people
Tributes and flowers have been laid at Leicester City's King Power Stadium following the death of chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four other people

Leicester City's Wales midfielder Andy King has paid tribute to club chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha after he died in a helicopter crash on Saturday.

The Thai, two members of his staff, the pilot and a passenger were killed.

Cardiff City are due to host Leicester in the Premier League on Saturday and have offered "every support".

"You were a great person who cared so much about our club, city and everything which came with it," King said on social media.external-link

"Thank you for enabling us to make our dreams a reality and I hope you were as proud of your club as we were of you. We will miss you."

Following Leicester's 1-1 Premier League home draw with West Ham United on Saturday, the helicopter collected its passengers from the pitch but then reportedly spiralled out of control and crashed in the car park of the King Power Stadium.

Srivaddhanaprabha bought Leicester in 2010 for £39m, cleared their debts and saw the club win promotion to the top flight four years later.

The Foxes then beat odds of 5000-1 to claim the Premier League title in 2015-16 in one of the greatest sporting stories of all time.

King, 30, is Leicester's longest serving player and was part of that title-winning team.

He was not in the match-day squad on Saturday, although fellow Wales international Danny Ward was on the bench and also sent his own tribute.

"Thank you for everything Boss, your legacy here at @LCFC will continue to inspire us all. RIP to a truly remarkable man," the goalkeeper tweeted.external-link

Fans were visibly shocked following the crash on Saturday evening

Former Wales striker Iwan Roberts, 50, played for Leicester from 1993-96 and told Good Morning Wales that the club had lost a remarkable owner.

"You look at where Leicester were before the owner took over, riddled in debt, they were in League One and by taking over the finances that they pumped in they helped Leicester to achieve the greatest day in their history," Roberts said.

"The owner and his son [Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha] were up there most Thursdays to see the players train and he was ever so humble... a private man, a very generous man.

"The work that they've done at Leicester, getting them from League One up to the Premier League champions, but also the work that they did as a family for local charities in and around Leicester, it's just a sad, sad loss."

Leicester's League Cup match at home to Southampton on Tuesday has been postponed.

The Foxes are due to play a Premier League game at Cardiff City on Saturday and the Welsh club's chief executive Ken Choo says they will offer every support to Leicester.

"Following Saturday evening's terrible events at King Power Stadium, the thoughts and feelings of Leicester City FC are at the forefront of our minds," Choo said in a statement.

"As such, we will be offering our support to Leicester City in any way necessary in respect of next weekend's scheduled fixture."

Cardiff City chairman Tan Sri Vincent Tan also sent his condolences: "It is hard to find words at this time to express how deeply shocked and saddened I am by Saturday's tragedy.

"My thoughts, prayers and condolences are with the family of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and the families of all those who lost their lives.

"Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was a man I knew personally: an honest and caring man of virtue and integrity. I considered him a friend and somebody for whom I had the utmost respect and admiration.

"Such tragedies put the game of football into perspective. But it is our common bond that will now unite the football family in a time of such grief and adversity."