Owner’s touching tribute to fans proves why he’s club legend
VICHAI SRIVADDHANAPRABHA, the Leicester owner who died in a helicopter crash, would leave whisky and glasses for Foxes fans to toast lost loved ones before each match.
The touching gesture is just one of many that saw Leicester fans and players grow so fond of the 60-year-old Thai billionaire over the past eight years.
It was not just his financial support towards their shock Premier League title in 2016 that has seen the Foxes squad warm to Srivaddhanaprabha, but his generosity.
Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel was seen in tears after running outside the King Power stadium to the crash site.
Srivaddhanaprabha lent his helicopter to Schmeichel when the keeper broke from a family break for a advertising film shoot for the club to return to his holiday.
Srivaddhanaprabha purchased Leicester in the summer of 2010 and while still in the Championship and made the club debt free after writing off the £103million in loans.
When they achieved promotion to the Premier League in 2014, the Foxes owner took the whole squad and staff to an exclusive restaurant in west London.
They were treated to caviar and fine wine as well as being given £1,000 each to gamble with at a private members' club down the road.
A year later, when Premier League survival was confirmed, Srivaddhanaprabha rewarded fans with a free pint of beer to celebrate.
And then came the title-winning season.
The Thai billionaire, who made his riches through duty-free shops, went one step further after the club's 5,000/1 shock.
A few weeks before the following season, he presented each player with BMW i8s which are worth £100,000 each.
Beer was once again given out for free that year as a celebration for the owner's birthday, as well as doughnuts and hot dogs.
In April, Srivaddhanaprabha gave away 60 season tickets for free as part of a competition to celebrate his birthday.
Srivaddhanaprabha and his family fell in love with Leicester despite originally owning a box at Stamford Bridge and being Chelsea fans.
As quoted by the Sunday Times, he once said: "After spending time studying many clubs, I fell in love with Leicester.
"One reason was the colours, which were the same as my company's. The other was the fact they were playing in the second tier. If we bought a Premier League club, it wouldn't be challenging enough."
This story originally appeared in The Sun.