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28th Oct 2018

‘It’s a tragedy for the club’ – Claude Puel speaks out after Leicester City helicopter crash

Leicester manager Claude Puel has spoken to French media following the helicopter crash outside the King Power Stadium, confirming that he is ok

Reuben Pinder

The Leicester City manager spoke to French media after the tragic news broke on Saturday night

Leicester City manager Claude Puel has confirmed he is “distraught, but fine”, following the tragic helicopter crash outside the King Power Stadium on Saturday night.

A helicopter belonging to the Foxes’ owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha crashed soon after taking off following Leicester’s 1-1 draw with West Ham.

Srivaddhanaprabha and one of his daughters are believed to have been on board at the time of the crash.

Inaccurate reports that Claude Puel was also on board began to surface but the Frenchman has put them to bed, confirming that he is ok.

“It is a tragedy for the club,” Puel told France Info.

“All of my thoughts are with the victims and their families and I want reassure all the people who are concerned about me.

“I am distraught, but I am well.”

The accident happened at around 8.30pm on Saturday evening, following Leicester City’s 1-1 draw with West Ham United. The helicopter took off from the King Power Stadium pitch an hour after the final whistle and then came down in the car park.

Football matches due to feature Leicester City Women and the club’s reserve team were postponed today in light of the crash.

Messages of support to Srivaddhanaprabha, the club and the city of Leicester have poured in as the scale of the crash has become increasingly apparent, and former Leicester winger Matt Piper echoed the sentiments of many others throughout the game when he spoke to BBC 5 Live Breakfast.

“It is the darkest day for our football club at the minute and we are just waiting on news now and praying that everyone who did board that helicopter is all right. We only talk about the huge things that the chairman has done for the football club but, on a day-to-day basis at games, him and his son give out free pies, beers, cakes, clappers, doughnuts, T-shirts – they are a shining example to other owners of football clubs,” he said.