Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Leicester City players attend funeral of late owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha in Thailand

Firefighters pay their respects in front of a portrait of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Image Firefighters in Leicester pay their respects to Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha
Frederick Owens | 05 November, 2018, 09:30

Foxes owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four other people died when his helicopter crashed outside the King Power Stadium shortly after the draw with West Ham on Saturday October 27.

A minute's silence was also held at football matches across the United Kingdom in his honour.

"We have had some great times", Schmeichel said of his team's exploits under Vichai's eight-year ownership.

"It's been a odd week, surreal really, and I'm glad it's out of the way if I'm honest", manager Neil Warnock said. I am really glad to have won ...

"I think either Chelsea and Liverpool (are contenders), they are very strong, Arsenal as well". It has been an emotional day. It gives you a certain strength.

Schmeichel, who ran the length of the field to celebrate with Gray, felt the tragedy more than most as he witnessed the immediate aftermath of the crash moments after the helicopter went down.

Asked about his personal trauma, the Denmark global said: "I spoke to someone". I am immensely proud to have known him.

The Leicester players, manager and backroom staff all made their way over to the travelling supporters to acknowledge their support on a hard afternoon for everyone associated with the club.

Two giant flags in memory of Vichai were unfurled, one of them being passed from Cardiff supporters to their Leicester counterparts, as the game got underway.

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Winger Demarai Gray scored the only goal in the 55th minute at Cardiff to earn Leicester the three points, and removed his shirt to reveal a tribute to Srivaddhanaprabha.

"But it is their last farewell to him, and will doubtless be an emotional occasion for them".

"We talked in the dressing room that there was really no need for gameplans, tactics, all that".

Defending resolutely amid prolonged spells of Cardiff possession, Schmeichel believes it was not a game for tactical nous, but maintaining focus. We are a family and wanted to pay our last respects together. "We talked about how proud we are of being here, of being part of what he has built".

"It was tough to prepare this game, important to find the good balance between emotion and concentration for this game", manager Claude Puel, whose team was to fly to Thailand for Vichai's funeral, told the BBC.

Puel's men are back in action next Saturday, with Leicester hosting Burnley in the Premier League.

"Sometimes referees have to do what they have to do and in this instance the law is quite clear on it", he said.

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