Belfast Telegraph

Leicester chairman thanks fans for tributes on first anniversary of father’s death

The Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Memorial Garden opened on Sunday.

Tributes at the Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Memorial Garden which opened on Sunday. (Mike Egerton/PA)
Tributes at the Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Memorial Garden which opened on Sunday. (Mike Egerton/PA)

By Nick Mashiter, PA

Leicester chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha has thanked fans for their tributes after the first anniversary of his father’s death.

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others lost their lives in a helicopter crash outside the King Power Stadium in October 2018.

Nusara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare and two pilots Izabela Lechowicz and Eric Swaffer died in the accident after the Foxes’ 1-1 draw with West Ham last year.

The Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Memorial Garden was opened on the crash site outside the stadium on Sunday, two days after Leicester’s record breaking 9-0 away win at Southampton in the Premier League.

“I want to say thank you to the Leicester City family – our supporters and our community – for your love and support this weekend. It means so much to me and to my family,” wrote Aiyawatt, who succeeded his father as chairman, on the club’s website.

“I watched the game at Southampton from Thailand at 2am and it was perfect.

“Not just the win and not just the score, but the whole night. Before, during and after the game, our fans were singing. Our fans behind the goal and our players on the pitch – we kept going, we did not stop.

“My father always taught me to fight for what is important, to keep going and he always wanted Leicester to do the same.

“It was the only thing he ever asked for – that we fight together and give our best until the very last minute. I was watching with so much pride in my heart.

“On Sunday, my family and I paid our respects to my father and all those we lost a year ago. After, I received photographs and videos from the memorial garden in Leicester and read so many messages and tributes.

“It is a garden my father would have loved and I am looking forward to seeing it when I come for the Arsenal match next month.

“My father meant so much to so many people and I hope the garden can be a place where everyone can find some peace. Thank you so much for your respect, kindness and dignity during the anniversary weekend.

“The anniversary was an important time for everyone, but our work to build on my father’s legacy will continue for a long time. He always wanted to do everything he could to make his Leicester City family better and better, and I want to follow his example.

“I want to share my love and care for everyone, like he always did, to make the Leicester family stronger and to bring success. Nothing comes easy, but we will keep going, continue to fight.

“Our season has only just started and we have a long way to go, so we will fight together until the very last minute. I am sure he is still watching us, so let’s make him proud together.”

PA

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