Home UK Funeral of Leicester City owner gets under way

Funeral of Leicester City owner gets under way


The funeral of the owner of Leicester City who died in a helicopter crash outside the club's stadium has begun in his native Thailand.

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was one of five people killed when the aircraft crashed leaving the ground after the club's 1-1 draw with West Ham last Saturday.

Image: Royal soldiers were among those at the funeral

The 60-year-old died when the helicopter he was in came down in a car park seconds after taking off from the pitch, along with two of his staff members, Nusara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare and pilot Eric Swaffer and his partner Izabela Roza Lechowicz.

Royal soldiers attend a procession at the temple where the funeral of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha
Image: The funeral is expected to continue until 9 November

Mr Srivaddhanaprabha's funeral is taking place at a Buddhist temple in Bangkok, with members of Thailand's elite expected to pay tribute to the well-connected billionaire.

His body was flown to Thailand on Friday and taken to Wat Debsirindrawas ahead of the official ceremony which lasts until 9 November.

Royal soldiers attend a procession at the temple where the funeral of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha
Image: Soldiers took part in a procession as the event got under way

Sky's southeast Asia correspondent Siobhan Robbins in Bangkok said: "Guests have been going through (the main part of the temple), or entering through different gates.

"Behind that they cross through a private area, over some water and into a very private ceremony and that's where, being held, is a huge eight-sided golden casket which has been given to this funeral by the royal family.

Thailand's Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan arrives for a funeral of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha
Image: Thailand's Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan was one of the early arrivals

"What is meant to have started at half past five (local time), which we are not allowed to see because it is private, is the traditional bathing ceremony.

"The king has given some sacred water which traditionally is poured on to the hand of the deceased by either a royal representative or a high up member and then other members of the family can follow in that practice, and once that's over people will be allowed to come and pay their respects. That will happen every single night."

Royal soldiers attend the funeral of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha

Leicester City footballers will play their first game since the tragedy later, when they travel to Cardiff for an away fixture.

Before heading to Cardiff the players spent time outside the King Power Stadium looking at the thousands of tributes left to Mr Srivaddhanaprabha.

Relatives attend a procession at the temple where the funeral of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha is taking place
Image: Relatives wore black as they arrived at Wat Debsirindrawas

Many of the players were close to the club owner and thought of him as a father figure.

Some of the players will fly out to Thailand after the match to take part.

The funeral for Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha
Image: People in Leicester have been paying their respects to Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha with flowers

England and Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy told Sky Sports: "We all spoke about … wanting to play, it's what Vichai would've wanted and that's what we are going to do."

Mr Srivaddhanaprabha rose from having a single store in Bangkok to owning the duty-free King Power empire, whose shops are widespread at Thailand's airports.

Jamie Vardy 0:28
Video: Jamie Vardy has spoken for the first time about the helicopter crash beside Leicester City's stadium.

His funeral ceremony will feature court musicians playing drums and flutes and Buddhist monks reciting prayers.

The body will be kept for a further 100 days and his cremation will take place at a date in the future.

A vehicle carrying the body of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha arrives at Wat Debsirindrawas temple
Image: A vehicle carrying the body of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha arrived at Wat Debsirindrawas temple earlier on Saturday

A Cardiff fan co-ordinator has told Sky Sports that supporters have their own tribute planned for the match on Saturday afternoon.

More from Leicester helicopter crash

Vince Alm said the club is putting on food for visiting fans and just before kick-off the home supporters will be "surfing" a flag from the home end to the away stands, where it will be held aloft for a minute's silence.

The removal from the stadium took place on Thursday
Image: Wreckage of the helicopter was removed from outside the stadium on Thursday

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has begun examining wreckage recovered from the crash site and the in-flight recorder.

Original Article


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