Leicester City – The Aftermath

By Callum Ferguson

On Saturday 27 October, the helicopter which was carrying Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha crashed outside the King Power stadium shortly after its take-off.

Following the tragedy, there was an outpouring of grief from all over the country.

“It wasn’t just Leicester fans that paid respect to the owner,” says Rob Tanner, the Leicester Mercury’s chief football writer and author of best-selling book, ‘5000-1 The Leicester Story: How We Beat The Odds To Become Premier League Champions’.

According to Tanner, Vichai was a very special man. “He put millions into local charities like the Foxes Foundation. This meant that it wasn’t just football fans that benefitted. It wouldn’t happen at many clubs. Leicester has always had a family feel to it.”

The tragic passing of Vichai didn’t just affect the country. Millions of people from all over the world have been shocked by the news, showing just what a special man he was.

In an interview for Football Focus, Jamie Vardy said that the players wanted to play to honour him. And that was exactly what they did.

Last Saturday, Leicester played Cardiff City and, in an emotional minute’s silence prior to the game, all of the players, squad and backroom staff stood together on the centre circle.

With the crash so fresh in the memory of the players, it was an emotional occasion for all involved. However, Leicester dug in and fought their way to a 1-0 victory over Neil Warnock’s side.

As Demarai Gray coolly slotted away a chance on the half volley, there was an uproar of emotion from players and fans alike.

The whole Leicester team frantically ran towards Gray and approached the travelling Leicester fans in celebration of the goal.

All of the Leicester fans had been given special white t–shirts with Vichai’s face on to commemorate him.

On Gray’s base layer read the words: ‘For Khun Vichai’, which controversially warranted a yellow card from referee Lee Probert.

When asked whether it was right to book Gray for the offence, Tanner said, “By the rules it was (the correct decision).”

Producer for TalkSport and freelance journalist, Jason Bourne agreed with the decision to card Gray. He “accepted that it was the fairest decision” and continued to say that, “people have already forgotten the decision.”

Bourne spoke in detail about Vichai saying, “He brought so much joy and gave a lot to the fans… There aren’t many clubs with owners like him.”

Leicester will now play Burnley at home on Saturday. This will be their first home game since the crash.

“It will be a strange atmosphere and emotional day”, said Bourne. “Leicester City are a family and they will come together.”

Bourne continued to say that the fans have special plans before the game with 15,000/20,000 people interested in doing a march through the town centre in celebration of Vichai. “The game will give the ability for the fans to offer thanks.”

It is still unsure how the fans and players will react in the next coming weeks but one thing is for certain; the city of Leicester is united.

Edited by Ben Knapton

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