Leicester City have confirmed owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha died Saturday along with four unnamed people after his helicopter crashed outside the King Power Stadium shortly after taking off from the pitch.
The club’s League Cup fixture Tuesday against Southampton has been postponed as a result.
Srivaddhanaprabha’s helicopter was a common sight following Leicester City matches. The aircraft frequently carried the Thai owner and special guests, lifting off from the center of the Leicester City pitch before delivering Srivaddhanaprabha back to London.
Witnesses reported the helicopter was spiraling out of control shortly before it crashed into a car park and burst into flames just beyond the King Power Stadium, according to Jacob Steinberg and Helen Pidd of The Guardian.
A billionaire Thai businessman, Srivaddhanaprabha first purchased Leicester City in 2010 and was named chairman a year later, replacing Milan Mandaric.
Under Srivaddhanaprabha’s leadership, Leicester City shocked the footballing world when they emerged Premier League champions of the 2015-16 season, despite entering the year at 5000-1 odds to win the title. In celebration of the club’s unexpected success, Srivaddhanaprabha rewarded the 19 players involved with their own BMW i8 sports car, each valued at approximately £100,000.
According to Forbes, Srivaddhanaprabha was the fifth-richest individual in Thailand with a net worth of $5.2 billion USD. He founded and was the owner of King Power International Group, Thailand’s largest operator of duty-free retailers in the country. In May 2017, Srivaddhanaprabha also purchased Belgian second-tier football club OH Leuven.