The Duke of Cambridge has paid a moving tribute to Leicester City FC owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who died alongside four other people when his helicopter crashed outside the stadium on Saturday night. After the news was confirmed, Prince William - expressed his shock as he revealed he was "lucky" to have known the respected Thai billionaire. "My thoughts today are with the family and friends of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and all the victims of the terrible crash at Leicester City Football Club," he said on Monday morning.
Leicester owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha died in the helicopter
"I was lucky to have known Vichai for several years. He was a businessman of strong values who was dedicated to his family and who supported a number of important charitable causes. He made such a big contribution to football, not least through Leicester City's magical 2016 season that captured the imagination of the world." Prince William, who is the president of the FA, then concluded: "He will be missed by all fans of the sport and everyone lucky enough to have known him." It is believed that two members of Vichai's staff, Nursara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare, and pilot Eric Swaffer and his partner Izabela Roza Lechowicz were in the helicopter.
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Vichai, who was married and had four children, bought Leicester City for £39m in 2010. He famously led the club to their 5,000-1 Premier League success in 2016. Former England and Leicester striker Gary Lineker took to social media to say he was "deeply saddened" to hear of the tragic deaths. "Deeply saddened to hear the confirmation that @lcfc chairman, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was one of five people to lose their lives in the helicopter crash on Saturday evening," he wrote. "A quiet, unassuming man who will always be remembered with great fondness and respect. He also helped to bring the most magical, miraculous title win in the history of football. Thank you, Chairman for all you did for our football club. #RIP."
Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy also paid his respects, saying: "Struggling to find the right words....but to me you are legend, an incredible man who had the biggest heart, the soul of Leicester City Football Club. Thank you for everything you did for me, my family and our club. I will truly miss you.... may you rest in peace...#theboss." Footballer Harry Maguire added: "Words can't describe how I feel. A truly great, kind, loving man who will be missed so much by everyone. I will never forget the Chairman’s support, not only during my time @lcfc but also during the World Cup RIP #TheBoss."
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