Leicester City Owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Confirmed Dead In Helicopter Crash Outside Stadium

The tragic news has finally been confirmed after more than 24 hours of speculation.

Leicester City owner dead in helicopter crash.
Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images

The tragic news has finally been confirmed after more than 24 hours of speculation.

In what will definitely go down as one of the worst tragedies witnessed in modern sport, British soccer club Leicester City lost their owner, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who died after a private helicopter carrying him and five others spiraled out of control on Saturday night, reports BBC.

The Inquisitr reported earlier today about videos showing the moment of the crash, with BT studio cameras catching the sound of the explosion even as the postgame show went on. Earlier on Saturday, Leicester City, which was taken over by Thai retail magnate Srivaddhanaprabha in 2010, managed a draw in their game against West Ham. The owner, who is typically present in all home matches and subsequently flies to London in a private helicopter, boarded the flight with his daughter and three other people. Soon after the helicopter took off from the pitch at the King Power stadium, its engine failed and it went spiraling out of control. It crashed a few hundred meters away from the stadium’s pitch.

Since the crash, speculation was rife about the identities of the people on board, and while unconfirmed reports about Srivaddhanaprabha being inside the helicopter at the time of the accident abounded, neither Leicester City, nor the owner’s family confirmed the news up until late Sunday night.

Srivaddhanaprabha, who was one of the richest men in Thailand with an estimated net worth in excess of $4 billion, has left a lasting legacy at Leicester. Since taking over, he transformed the fortunes of the club, and in 2016, against all odds, he inspired underdogs Leicester City to a Premier League title for the first time in their history. The ethnically diverse city of Leicester united with Srivaddhanaprabha’s leadership, who has also been instrumental in donating to local charities, helping out with the community, and opening hospitals in Leicester.

Leicester City players, who were part of the team that lifted the trophy under the Thai owner’s guidance, paid their tributes soon after reports confirmed that Srivaddhanaprabha had died in the helicopter crash.

“Absolutely heartbroken and devastated regarding the news of our chairman,” wrote club captain Wes Morgan. “A man that was loved and adored by everyone here at lcfc.”

Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, who was at the ground when the helicopter crashed, was in tears after the accident. He said he couldn’t believe the club’s owner was no more.

“I cannot believe this is happening. I am so totally devastated and heartbroken,” he said.

Leicester City’s Tuesday night match against Southampton in the EFL Cup has been postponed until further notice.