BANGKOK – The body of Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha reached Thailand on Friday, one day ahead of a week-long funeral at a Bangkok temple, local media reported.
A Thai native, Vichai was among five people killed when his helicopter crashed just outside Leicester’s pitch after a match with West Ham on Saturday.
The funeral for 60-year-old Vichai – the fifth-richest person in Thailand, who made his fortune from an airport duty free monopoly – is being sponsored by Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn, the Bangkok Post reported.
He will be bathed in water provided by the king at the temple on Saturday, followed by a week-long Buddhist ceremony, the report said.
Sky Sports reported on Friday that the majority of Leicester’s squad, management and key staff would fly by private jet to the funeral following their match at Cardiff City on Saturday.
They will spend less than 36 hours in Bangkok before flying back to prepare for next Saturday’s match against Burnley, which will be their first at home since the crash, according to Sky.
Vichai took ownership of Leicester in 2010, pouring money into the club and becoming a popular figure in the city through his many charitable donations.
But in 2015/16, his name and status was assured forever when Leicester, a 5 000-1 chance at the start of the season, won the Premier League in one of the biggest surprises in sporting history.
His son Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, has vowed to build on the legacy left by his father, assuming the leadership of both the family’s duty-free giant King Power and the football club.
The Leicester City players left a final tribute at King Power Stadium before heading to Cardiff earlier today. pic.twitter.com/a74SdmGw1O