Leicester City play emotional first match since owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha's death

English Premier League club Leicester City came back to play its first competitive match following a week of...

Posted: Nov 4, 2018 9:59 PM
Updated: Nov 4, 2018 9:59 PM

English Premier League club Leicester City came back to play its first competitive match following a week of mourning for its owner, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who died in a helicopter accident last Saturday.

In delivering a 1-0 win away at Cardiff City, the team had the prefect tribute for the beloved Thai billionaire, who brought the club its first-ever top-flight league championship in its 134-year history.

Aircraft

Asia

Aviation and aerospace industry

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Continents and regions

Football (Soccer)

Golf

Helicopters

Leicester City FC

Premier League

Southeast Asia

Sports and recreation

Sports organizations and teams

Thailand

Srivaddhanaprabha, 60, was one of five people on board the aircraft when it burst into flames after crashing in a parking lot next to the club's King Power Stadium around an hour after the club's 1-1 draw with West Ham last Saturday. No one on board survived.

His helicopter was a familiar sight at the Leicester stadium, landing in the middle of the pitch to ferry its owner to and from home games.

Witnesses said the helicopter had barely cleared the 25 meter (82 foot) high stadium walls before making a loud noise, crashing to the ground and igniting in a large fireball.

Minute of silence

Ahead of Saturday's match in the Welsh capital the stadium played a short tribute to the club's owner and CEO with a minute's silence.

Standing in black tracksuits the entire squad and backroom staff stood in a semi circle around the center circle, facing the matchday squad in its famous all-blue kit.

Staff and players alike stood with heads bowed, trying to rein in their emotions -- with stars like Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel barely holding back tears, a testament to how much Srivaddhanaprabha meant to the Foxes family.

Rob Tanner, Chief Football Writer for the Leicester Mercury, told CNN's Patrick Snell that the minute's silence was a moving tribute.

"The whole of the backroom team, all the squad members who weren't playing today, they all came onto the field, which I haven't seen before," Tanner said, adding that it is usually just the starting 11 that take part in on-field tributes.

"They were unified in their decision (to play the game Saturday), that it was important to them to pay respect to Vichai, by playing today and they've certainly made him proud in that sense."

Tribute to 'the boss'

In the pre-match warmup the players wore white T-shirts bearing an image of Srivaddhanaprabha, below the words "the boss."

Demarai Gray scored the only goal of the game, removing his shirt to reveal his own tribute -- "for Khun Vichai," using the Thai honorific.

Unfortunately the gesture saw him cautioned -- a player removing a shirt leads to a yellow card under the game's laws.

"Demarai Gray was booked for taking his shirt off... which really took the gloss off it a little but it was very poignant, very emotional," Tanner said. "At the final whistle they all went to the corner (of the Cardiff stadium) where the away fans were and all of them stood and applauded them. They must have been stood there for 10-15 minutes."

"I think it was a day that they really needed to get out the way now," Tanner said. "It's the first step in the healing process."

The billionaire's funeral is taking place over seven days in his native Thailand and the Leicester City squad were scheduled to fly to Asia after the match to pay their respects.

Upon return from Asia they'll play their first home game since the tragedy, against Burnley next Saturday, at the King Power Stadium. The club's home ground has become a sprawling tribute of flowers, scarves and Leicester replica kits since last week's accident.

"There's 3,000 fans who traveled to Cardiff and they've done the club proud with their support but there will be 32,000 at the King Power Stadium next week so it'll be even more emotional," Tanner said.

Lasting legacy

Srivaddhanaprabha bought the club for $57 million in 2010 and it was promoted to the Premier League in 2014. In 2016, the club achieved the once-unthinkable feat of winning the premiership.

It went into the 2015-2016 season with odds of 5,000-1 to win but stunned fans, and bookmakers, by taking the title.

The club's extraordinary run of success played out under Srivaddhanaprabha's ownership. Along with handing fans their first top-flight title in the club's history, the businessman won over fans by handing out free beer, water and cupcakes, as well as scarves in cold weather, in the stands.

The Thai was No. 388 on the Forbes' billionaires list, with a net worth of $4.9 billion. He made his fortune through the creation of the King Power chain of duty-free stores, Thailand's largest. Srivaddhanaprabha's company sponsors the team's stadium.

Elsewhere in the Premier League Saturday, players stood in silence ahead of their matches as a mark of respect for the Leicester City owner and ahead of Britain's annual Remembrance Day, while some teams wore t-shirts proclaiming solidarity with the grief-stricken Midlands club.

Arsenal came back to secure a 1-1 draw against league leader Liverpool in the day's marquee match, while Manchester United managed a 2-1 win over Bournemouth to draw level on points with the south coast side.

Newcastle United celebrated a welcome -- and rare -- 1-0 victory over Watford, Everton won 3-1 against Brighton and West Ham showed poise in an assured 4-2 win over Burnley.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 554536

Reported Deaths: 7083
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1155051679
Ramsey47786853
Dakota42410422
Anoka38477415
Washington24913273
Stearns20994218
St. Louis16774297
Scott15946117
Wright14764127
Olmsted1273297
Sherburne1060080
Carver980145
Clay781289
Rice7632101
Blue Earth695840
Kandiyohi627380
Crow Wing615086
Chisago548250
Otter Tail542673
Benton530597
Mower450532
Goodhue442471
Douglas441870
Winona438149
Nobles400248
Morrison394659
McLeod394355
Isanti375159
Beltrami372257
Itasca370752
Polk365367
Steele361914
Becker353948
Lyon347848
Carlton329352
Freeborn326829
Pine311821
Nicollet306542
Brown294439
Mille Lacs281250
Le Sueur269722
Todd268730
Cass249626
Meeker235937
Waseca231221
Martin212529
Wabasha19953
Roseau197318
Renville172043
Hubbard171841
Dodge17123
Redwood166435
Houston162614
Cottonwood156821
Fillmore15169
Pennington150619
Chippewa145836
Wadena144021
Faribault143419
Sibley135710
Kanabec130621
Aitkin128636
Watonwan12549
Rock122719
Jackson117310
Yellow Medicine110419
Pipestone109725
Murray10229
Pope10226
Swift99518
Marshall85617
Stevens82010
Lake78419
Clearwater77414
Koochiching76913
Wilkin76812
Lac qui Parle73522
Big Stone5644
Lincoln5592
Grant5478
Norman5229
Mahnomen5048
Unassigned49578
Kittson46622
Red Lake3877
Traverse3595
Lake of the Woods3053
Cook1450

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 357796

Reported Deaths: 5821
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk55970604
Linn20297330
Scott19082234
Black Hawk15550306
Woodbury14897221
Johnson1404281
Dubuque13153202
Dallas1089196
Pottawattamie10747162
Story1031147
Warren555186
Clinton537390
Cerro Gordo521986
Webster508291
Sioux506073
Marshall477174
Muscatine459896
Des Moines441465
Wapello4253120
Buena Vista421740
Jasper407670
Plymouth397079
Lee368155
Marion354575
Jones293055
Henry286137
Bremer279260
Carroll279151
Crawford262040
Boone258533
Benton250355
Washington249550
Dickinson242043
Mahaska224850
Jackson217942
Kossuth212663
Clay211025
Tama206671
Delaware202839
Winneshiek194433
Page190321
Buchanan188831
Cedar183823
Fayette182941
Wright180435
Hardin179942
Hamilton178049
Harrison176373
Clayton167055
Butler162534
Mills158620
Cherokee157138
Floyd155342
Lyon154741
Madison153919
Poweshiek152733
Allamakee149051
Iowa145524
Hancock143534
Winnebago136031
Grundy135232
Cass134354
Calhoun133211
Jefferson130635
Emmet128840
Shelby128337
Sac127219
Louisa126849
Appanoose126747
Mitchell125241
Union124032
Chickasaw122615
Humboldt118326
Guthrie117929
Franklin112721
Palo Alto110922
Howard102822
Montgomery100637
Unassigned10030
Clarke98223
Keokuk94530
Monroe94128
Ida89633
Adair84532
Pocahontas83621
Monona81230
Davis79924
Greene76710
Osceola75516
Lucas74923
Worth7078
Taylor65212
Fremont6139
Decatur5899
Van Buren55518
Ringgold53623
Wayne52123
Audubon4949
Adams3284
Rochester/St. Mary'S
Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 32°
Mason City
Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 30°
Albert Lea
Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 35°
Austin
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 35°
Charles City
Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 32°
Tracking an arctic front, cooling us down for the workweek
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Electric car show

Image

Walk a Block

Image

Cleaning up Chester Woods

Image

Little Thistle collecting donations

Image

Rochester United PKG

Image

Grizzlies PKG

Image

Sara's Saturday Night Forecast

Image

April Tool's Day

Image

Byron baseball starts season strong

Image

Hayfield BB PKG

Community Events