Last night, Leicester City Football Club released an announcement, confirming the terrible news we’d all been fearing; five people, including Chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, were killed in the awful helicopter crash on Saturday night.
Four of those, Nursara Suknamai, Kaveporn Punpare, Eric Swaffer and Izabela Roza Lechowicz have been left out of some coverage of the incident. By no means do we want to minimise their own personal tragedies – no less than that of any individual. If I knew enough to talk about them respectfully, you can believe that I would be.
Nor will I pretend to know anything of Vichai personally. But if there’s one thing we here at the Fosse Posse do know, it’s the incredible impact that he has had on our football club, and why he’ll never be forgotten.
For many, this has been a reminder that there are more important things in life than football. Answers will vary, but if you were to ask which things exactly they meant, I expect “love” or “family” would be at the top of most lists.
Personally though, I’ve always found love, family and football to be inextricably linked. Sure, you can have love without football, but football without love? Not for me.
If the outpouring of grief and support we’ve seen from the fans shows anything, I’m certainly not the only one. Leicester City is a family, and we’ve lost one of our own.
It’s odd to write this now, but do we truly realise just how lucky that made us?
Not every owner is Mike Ashley, but still most are not loved like ours. They own the club, but they’re not really part of it. Vichai and his family had become a part of ours.
He was also incredibly good at it. Never the centre of attention, just quietly and efficiently making excellent decisions (and parting with plenty of money) to do the best thing for our club. Without him, there would have been no league title, no European tour. We might not have even been in the Premier League at all.
The testimony coming now from those in the club that did know him (seemingly everyone) shows that those who worked for him loved him even more than we did.
I wont link them all, but I will suggest you find them, if you haven’t already.
As fans, we owed him so much, but still he made it clear to us all that we were always appreciated. He will be missed, but never forgotten.
Our condolences go to his family, whose loss right now is far greater than our own, but to the boss himself go our heartfelt thanks.
Thank you for our club, and for the trophy. Thank you for the doughnuts and the mince pies. Thank you for your charity, and for helping the city as much as your club. Thank you for your 5000-1 vision and for changing football for the better in ways few ever have.
Thank you, Vichai.