Players and staff from Leicester City were set to arrive in Bangkok Sunday to attend a mourning rite for the club’s chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, whose death last week in a helicopter crash stunned the Premier League club, AFP reports.
Sunday marked the second day of a week-long ceremony held at Wat Thepsirin, one of Bangkok’s most famous temples which typically serves as the site for funerals of very important Thais.
Over the coming days Thailand’s business and political elites are expected to visit the temple to pay their respects, while monks will chant Buddhist verses over the duty-free mogul’s body.
Vichai, 60, died last week, along with four others, when his helicopter crashed and burst into flames moments after taking off from Leicester’s pitch following a match.
His death sent shockwaves through Leicester, where the charismatic Vichai had become a beloved figure in the club and the city – a feat rarely achieved by the Premier League’s foreign owners.
It was under Vichai’s ownership that Leicester crafted one of the biggest fairytales in English football history by winning the 2015/16 Premier League, having started the season as 5,000-1 outsiders for the title
On Saturday the team played at Cardiff City, their first match since his death, with players from both teams coming together to pay their respects before the game.
Massive banners featuring Thailand’s flag saying “R.I.P. Vichai” moved across the stadium, and the crowd observed a minute of silence. Fans wore T-shirts with Vichai’s picture on it, underneath the words “The Boss”.