Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha is one of five people to have died in the tragic helicopter crash that has shocked world football.
Srivaddhanaprabha, who has owned the Foxes since 2010, was on board the aircraft as it attempted to fly away from the King Power Stadium on Saturday evening.
He had attended Leicester’s 1-1 draw with West Ham and was attempting to leave around an hour after the full-time whistle.
But shortly after the helicopter cleared the roof of the stadium, it got into trouble and was sent spiralling to the ground.
Two members of Srivaddhanaprabha’s staff, Nursara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare, also died in the crash, Leicestershire Police confirmed.
Pilot Eric Swaffer was killed as was passenger Izabela Roza Lechowicz, who is also a pilot.
A club statement said: “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.
“The primary thoughts of everyone at the Club are with the Srivaddhanaprabha family and the families of all those on-board at this time of unspeakable loss.
“In Khun Vichai, the world has lost a great man.
“A man of kindness, of generosity and a man whose life was defined by the love he devoted to his family and those he so successfully led.
“Leicester City was a family under his leadership. It is a family that will grieve his passing and maintain the pursuit of a vision for the Club that is now his legacy.
“A book of condolence, which will be shared with the Srivaddhanaprabha family, will be opened at King Power Stadium from 8am on Tuesday 30 October for supporters wishing to pay their respects.
“Both Tuesday’s First Team fixture against Southampton in the EFL Cup and the Development Squad fixture against Feyenoord in the Premier League International Cup have been postponed.
“Everyone at the Club has been truly touched by the remarkable response of the football family, whose thoughtful messages of support and solidarity have been deeply appreciated at this difficult time.”
Emergency services quickly attended the scene of the crash but were unable to save Srivaddhanaprabha or the other passengers and crew.
Srivaddhanaprabha, 61, had helped inspire Leicester when they famously won the 2015/16 Premier League title.
The Thai businessman is the owner of King Power Duty Free, where he made his fortune, and also owns Belgian football club OH Leuven – which he brought in May 2017.
Srivaddhanaprabha paid £39million to acquire the Foxes in 2010 and has since been hailed as the greatest thing to ever happen to the club, with spectators often being rewarded generously for their support.
His son, Aiyawatt, was named as the vice-chairman of the club. He was not on board the helicopter at the time of the crash.
Srivaddhanaprabha was married to wife Aimon, with whom they had four children: Voramas, Apichet, Arunroong, and Aiyawatt.
The whole family were regular visitors to Leicester matches.
Leicester’s directors gathered at the club’s stadium on Sunday morning for a briefing on the situation.
It was following that meeting that it was confirmed that Vichai was among those on board of the helicopter when it went crashed.
Leicester manager Claude Puel spoke to French radio station Radio France on Sunday morning about the incident.
“It’s a tragedy for the club,” he said. “I think very strongly about the victims and their families.
“I wanted to reassure everyone who cares about me, I’m terribly sad but I’m fine.”