Major Racehorse Owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Dies In Helicopter Crash
The Leicester City chairman and leading racehorse owner, died after his helicopter crashed moments after taking off from the King Power Stadium on Saturday, the club confirmed on Sunday night.
A statement from the club read: "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 as a family that we will grieve his passing and maintain the pursuit of a vision for the club that is now his legacy."
The 60-year-old was an emerging force in British horseracing, enjoying a handful of Group victories in the last two seasons after big investment in the sport, and was a pivotal figure in revitalising the area's sporting fortunes, including the city's racecourse, track officials said.
Speaking prior to Sunday night's announcement, Rob Bracken, the racetrack's general manager who got to know Srivaddhanaprabha on his visits to the Oadby venue, said: "He's a really nice, open guy. Everyone likes him and there's always a crowd of people he draws to have selfies with.
The Thai businessman was famous for naming his horse after his beloved Leicester City with a variety of derivatives of the famous club and names around his business including King Power, his company name, a horse that cost 2.5 millions Guineas at Tattersalls last year.