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28th Oct 2018

Kasper Schmeichel leads tributes to Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha

Reuben Pinder

The Foxes’ chairman had a profound effect on Schmeichel and the entire Leicester community

Kasper Schmeichel led the tributes on Sunday evening to Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the club’s owner who tragically died in a helicopter crash outside the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

Schmeichel was believed to have been one of the first on the scene and was reportedly reduced to tears as emergency services attended to the wreckage.

Srivaddhanaprabha had a profound effect on Schmeichel, as well as the entire Leicester community.

The goalkeeper, who helped the club lift the Premier League trophy in 2016, tweeted a heartwarming tribute praising Srivaddhanaprabha’s philanthropy after it was confirmed that the chairman was among the five people who died in the crash.

“It is difficult to put into words how much you have meant to this football club and to the city of Leicester,” said Schmeichel.

“We all know about the investment in the football club you and your family have made. But this is about so much more. You cared so deeply not just for our club but for the entire community. Your endless contribution to Leicester’s hospitals and charities will never be forgotten. You went above and beyond in every aspect.”

Schmeichel continued: “Never have I ever come across a man like you. So hard working, so dedicated, so passionate, so kind and so generous in the extreme. You had time for everyone. You touched everyone.

“I always admired you as a leader, as a father and as a man.”

Remembering Leicester’s journey to Premier League glory in 2015/16, Schmeichel recalled a conversation he had with Srivaddhanaprabha, who told him they would be in the Champions League within six years.

“You changed football. Forever! You gave hope to everyone that the impossible was possible, not just to our fans but to fans all over the world in any sport! Not many people have done that.

“When you signed me back in 2011 you said to me we would be in the Champions League within six years and we would do great things. You inspired me and I believed in you. You made me feel like nothing was impossible.

“Without you and your family, all this, everything we did together, everything we achieved, would never have happened. You gave me experiences that only happen in fantasy. You literally made my dreams come true.”

Schmeichel is joined in paying his respects by other members of the Leicester squad after thousands of fans gathered outside the King Power Stadium on Sunday to lay flowers.