Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Leicester players to wear owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha's name on shirts

Claude Puel Getty Images
Frederick Owens | 14 November, 2018, 12:58

The match was the first to be played at the Foxes' home ground since the tragic events which took the life of Leicester owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, with tributes being payed by the club and fans both before and during the game.

The charismatic Thai had become a beloved figure in the club and the city - a feat rarely achieved by Premier League clubs' often distant billionaire owners.

In the eight years of Vichai's ownership, Leicester caused one of football's biggest shocks by winning the Premier League title in 2016.

Leicester have also confirmed plans are under way to build a memorial statue to commemorate Srivaddhanaprabha.

Harry Maguire, James Maddison, Andy King and Hamza Choudhury, none of whom featured against Burnley, had led a march of fans from the city centre to the stadium ahead of the match.

Mr Srivaddhanaprabha tragically died alongside four others when his private aircraft crashed outside the stadium shortly after their last home match against West Ham United on October 27.

Puel praised his players for the way they handled their emotions at Cardiff last weekend, where Demarai Gray's goal gave Leicester a 1-0 victory in what was their first match after the crash.

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Players" shirts featured the chairman's name, with "Khun Vichai, forever in our hearts' encircling the club badge.

Schmeichel has been especially affected, having watched the helicopter take off from the pitch before it appeared to go into a fateful spin.

Writing in the programme, goalkeeper Kasper Schmichael said: "I was on the side of the pitch standing, chatting with some of those closest to him that night and waved him off as he took off, like I almost always used to do after home games. I've been in the hospital recently and I've seen the Foxes Foundation plastered all over the wall because of Vichai". "It is something that will stay with me, unfortunately".

The sea of floral tributes placed outside the stadium in the aftermath of the tragedy had been relocated on Friday, with the help of more than 200 volunteers, to an area close to the accident site, where fans flocked before kick-off to pay their respect to those that lost their lives a fortnight ago.

Puel said: "All the different support from everybody is great, of course".

Manager Dyche has the task of preparing his players for the emotions and wants them to do his club proud.

Claude Puel admits Leicester's preparation for their Premier League game against Burnley has not been easy. But we will compensate with our spirit and attitude and the support from the fans, of course.

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