Leicester City players pay respects at owner’s Thai funeral

Mae Harvey
November 5, 2018

Football was an afterthought for Leicester, who were playing just seven days after popular owner Vichai was among five people killed when his helicopter crashed.

Demarai Gray claimed the 55th-minute victor to provoke an outpouring of emotion, both on the pitch and in the stand housing the visiting Leicester supporters, rarely seen in football.

The squad, management and key staff will fly on a private jet to Bangkok on Saturday night, and spend less than 36 hours in the country before flying back to prepare for next Saturday's game against Burnley - Leicester's first home game since the owner's death.

Schmeichel confirmed he had witnessed the horrifying moment when the helicopter transporting Vichai fell to the ground shortly after taking off. Eyewitness reports suggested he sprinted out of the stadium in an attempt to assist and he said the experience is one that will never leave him. I haven't really known a feeling like it on the pitch. The way everyone at the club has handled themselves is a testament to the family that Vichai built.

The club take on Welsh side Cardiff City today at 2pm GMT. It has been an emotional day.

He said: "I am glad we got three points for him".

"I can't imagine what his family are going through".

Upon entering the temple, they gave Vichai's family a hug, and then offered up jasmine flowers as they knelt in front of a octagonal bejeweled urn given by the king to pay their final respects to their beloved chairman.

It came after the 2016 Premier League winners bagged an away win against Cardiff the day before, when the players donned T-shirts featuring a picture of Vichai on them.

On the back, an inscription read "Khun Vichai You Will Be Forever In Our Hearts".

The Denmark worldwide has since played more than 300 games for the Foxes and was a huge figure in Leicester's 2015-16 title-winning season, when they triumphed despite having odds of 5,000-1 at the start of the campaign.

Two giant flags in memory of Vichai were unfurled, one of them being passed from Cardiff supporters to their Leicester counterparts, as the game got underway.

Manager Claude Puel has said the result is "not important".

"He knows the rules and it was important for Demarai to take this yellow card".

On the south coast, Manchester United's late win, via a Marcus Rashford strike, failed to alleviate Jose Mourinho's disappointment at another below-par performance.

"We were defensively very bad. The second half was much better", Mourinho said.

Newcastle recorded their first league victory of the season, 1-0 over Watford, while Everton and West Ham United also won before Arsenal hosted Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur travelled to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the later games.

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