Leicester City FC opens book of condolence following tragic helicopter crash

By Chantelle Roberts

Following the tragic death of Leicester City football club’s owner and four others, mourners gathered yesterday to sign a book of condolence to pay tribute.

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, 60, as well as Nusara Suknamai, Kaveporn Punpare, and pilots Izabela Roza Lechowicz and Eric Swaffer, died following a helicopter crash outside the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

A marquee was put up by Leicester FC to house the book, across from which thousands of fans have laid football shirts, cards and flowers outside the stadium. The book opened at 8am yesterday morning.

Fans will be able to leave messages and tributes “for the foreseeable future” outside the club shop from 8am to 10pm.

A Leicester City spokesman said: “The Club would like to thank supporters for their overwhelming support and kind wishes since the tragic events of Saturday evening.”

An investigation has been launched into the logistics of the crash, following the match against West Ham.

Pilot Eric Swaffer has been hailed a hero for steering the helicopter away from the crowds of people still leaving the stadium grounds.

City Mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby said: “The outpouring of grief we are seeing at the King Power stadium demonstrates just how much the people of Leicester have taken Vichai and his family to their hearts.”

A Leicester City statement on Monday evening read: “The club would like to thank supporters for their overwhelming support and kind wishes since the tragic events of Saturday evening.”

Son Aiyawatt, who is expected to become the club’s new chairman, has backed a call to rename the stadium as the Khun Vichai in his father’s honour.

Srivaddhanaprabha was a beloved figure among the players, he wrote off the club’s £103m debt when taking over in 2010.

An online condolence book has opened for supporters via the club’s website at LCFC.com

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