Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha: The Man Who Made Leicester City Great Again
On October 27, 2018, the world mourned the death of an extremely kind and giving guy (Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha) who gave football fans the opportunity to dream again.
Leicester City confirmed that chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the Thai billionaire businessman who cleared the club’s debts and helped them win promotion to the Premier League four years later, was one of five people killed in a helicopter crash following the team’s game against West Ham in October.
The club reported on Twitter that none of the five passengers survived the crash, which was one of the most terrible tragedies in sporting history.
“It is with the deepest regret and a collective broken heart that we confirm our chairman, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, was among those to have tragically lost their lives on Saturday evening when a helicopter carrying him and four other people crashed outside King Power Stadium.
“None of the five people on board survived.”
Srivaddhanaprabha was a key figure in one of the greatest sporting stories of all time, but he also gave the people of Leicester hope and goodwill at a difficult period.
He bought Leicester City in 2010 while they were suffering in the Championship, and he cleared their debts by loaning the club more than £100 million during the first four years.
Srivaddhanaprabha was not just generous to the football club, but also to the city of Leicester.
He gave £1 million to the medical department at Leicester University and another £1 million to the Leicester Royal Infirmary. He will also donate £2 million to a new children’s hospital, and it didn’t end there.
During Leicester’s legendary Premier League title triumph in 2015/16, he famously gave away free beer, scarves, and cakes to fans, and he frequently organized free bus transport to away games.
Not to add the fact that he bought a new car for each player after they won the Premier League.
Srivaddhanaprabha would make history on football in the most amazing way possible, despite his magnificent and selfless efforts off the field.
For the first time in their history, the team was demoted to the third tier in 2008.
Leicester can look back on the most romantic title win in history, owing to the efforts of Vichai, Claudio Ranieri, and the board.
He stated at the start of his tenure that the club would spend £180 million to break into the top five within three years and that the club would finally become the best team in the country in just two years, spending roughly £77 million on transfers.
Wes Morgan and N’Golo Kante are two examples. Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez were vital in that remarkable season, and following a 3-1 victory over Everton at the King Power, the aforementioned players surrounded Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha as he raised England’s biggest prize.
For millions of people throughout the world, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
People from all around the world paid their respects to the 60-year-old, and many of them expressed the same thing. He was a kind man, and he was generous.
Leicester City’s title-winning goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel offered an emotional tribute to Srivaddhanaprabha, expressing how much he meant to not only him but also the club.
“Dear Mr Chairman, I cannot believe this is happening. I am so totally devastated and heartbroken. I just cannot believe what I saw last night. It just doesn’t seem real.” Schmeichel wrote.
“It is difficult to put into words how much you have meant to this football club and to the city of Leicester. We all know about the investment in the football club you and your family have made. But this is about so much more. You cared so deeply for not just the club but for the entire community. Your endless contribution to Leicester’s hospitals and charities will never be forgotten. You went above and beyond in every aspect.
“Never have I ever come across a man like you. So hardworking, so dedicated, so passionate, so kind and so generous in the extreme. You had time for everyone. You touched everyone. It didn’t matter who it was, you had time for them. I always admired you as a leader, as a father and as a man.
“You changed football. Forever! You gave hope to everyone that the impossible was possible, not just to our fans, but to fans all over the world in any sport! Not many people have done that.
“When you signed me back in 2011 you said to me we would be in the Champions League within six years and we would do great things. You inspired me and I believed in you. You made me feel like nothing was impossible. Without and your family, all this, everything we did together, everything we achieved would never have happened. You gave me experiences that only happen in fantasy.
“You literally made dreams come true.”
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