The city of Leicester plays an emotional first fight from the death of the owner of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha


With a 1-0 victory at Cardiff City, the team had the triumph of tribute to Thailand's favorite billionaire, who brought the club to his first championship in his 134-year history.

Srivaddhanaprabha, 60, was one of five people on the plane when he burst into flames after crashing into a parking lot next to the King Power Stadium, about an hour after the 1-1 draw of the West Ham team last Saturday. No one survived.

His helicopter was a familiar sight at the Leicester Stadium, landing in the middle of the field to transfer his owner to and from home.

Witnesses said the helicopter had just cleared the 25m (82 ft) tall walls of the stadium before making a loud noise, crashing into the ground and firing a large flame.

Minutes of silence

Prior to Saturday's fight in the capital of Wales, the stadium played a short tribute to the owner and the club's managing director with a minute silence.

In front of black accessories, all of the team's staff and backroom were in a semicircle around the central circle, facing the race team in its famous blue kit.

The staff and the players were standing with their heads bending, trying to resist their feelings – with stars like the Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel just holding tears, a proof of how much Srivadadanabrambas meant to the Fox family.

Leicester City: Cure a broken city after the scary time for everyone

Rob Tanner, lead footballer for Leicester Mercury, told Patrick Snell of CNN that the silence of the minute was a mobile tribute.

"All the backroom team, all members of the team who did not play today, all came to the field, something I have not seen before," said Tanner, adding that they are usually only the top 11 on site tributes.

"They were united in their decision (to play the game on Saturday) that it was important for them to pay respect to Vichai, playing today and definitely have made him proud in that sense."

Tribute to the "boss"

Onyinye Wilfred Ndidi of Leicester City looks up as he heats up while wearing a commemorative t-shirt before the fight.

In the warm-up of the games the players wore white t-shirts that brought a picture of Srivaddhanaprabha, under the words "the boss".

Demarai Gray scored the only goal of the game, removing his shirt to reveal his own tribute – "for Khun Vichai," using the Thai honor.

Unfortunately, the gesture saw him warn – a player who removes a shirt leads to a yellow card according to the laws of the game.

"Demarai Gray had shut up to get the shirt off … which really got the glossy for a while but it was very annoying, very emotional," said Tanner. "In the final whistle they all went to the corner of Cardiff, where the fans were away and all of them stood and applauded, must have stood there for 10-15 minutes."

Demarai Gray is celebrating with his teammate Ben Chilwell, revealing a commemorative message for Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha during the Premier League match between Cardiff City and Leicester City.
Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha: Leicester mourns one

"I think it was one day that we really had to get out of the way now," said Tanner. "This is the first step in the treatment."

The billionaire's funeral takes place for seven days in his homeland in Thailand, and the Leicester City team is scheduled to fly to Asia after the fight to pay their respects.

With their return from Asia they will play the first game in their home from the tragedy, against Burnley next Saturday, at King Power Stadium. The club house has become a huge flower tribute, scarf and Leicester replica packages since the last week's accident.

"There are 3,000 fans who have traveled to Cardiff and have made the team proud with their support, but there will be 32,000 at King Power Stadium next week to make it even more emotional," said Tanner.

Permanent heritage

Srivaddhanaprabha bought the club for $ 57 million in 2010 and was promoted to the Premier League in 2014. In 2016, the club achieved the incomprehensible feat of winning prime minister.

He went to the season 2015-2016 with odds of 5,000-1 to win but also fans, and bookmakers, taking the title.

The excellent success of the club developed under the ownership of Srivaddhanaprabha. Together with the tradition of the world's first title of top flight in the history of the club, the businessman won fans by providing free beer, water and cupcakes, as well as scarves in cold weather at the kiosks.

Thai was 388 on the list of Forbes billionaires, with a net worth of 4.9 billion dollars. He made his fortune by creating the Power King chain of tax-free shops, the largest of Thailand. The company of Srivaddhanaprabha grants the team's stadium.

Elsewhere on the Premier League Saturday, the players remained silent in front of their races as a mark of respect for the Leicester city owner and in front of Britain's annual Memorial Day, while some teams were wearing t-shirts claiming solidarity with the Midlands club.

Arsenal returned to secure a 1-1 draw with the Liverpool champions in the day's marquee match, while Manchester United won 2-1 in Bournemouth to tie points to the southern coast.

Newcastle United celebrated a welcome – and rarely – 1-0 victory over Watford, Everton winning 3-1 with Brighton and West Ham showed confidence in a confident 4-2 win over Burnley.