Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha's Helicopter Crash Will Stay With Me Forever, Says Kasper Schmeichel
Kasper Schmeichel said Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha transcended the traditional image of a Premier League club owner.
- It is something that will stay with me, said Kasper Schmeichel
- Kasper Schmeichel had joined the Leicester City in 2011
- Leicester City had won the Premier League title win in 2016
Leicester City's goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel said on Tuesday that the helicopter crash in which the club's Thai owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was killed will stay with him forever. Kasper Schmeichel recalled that he waved the helicopter off after Leicester City's 1-1 draw against West Ham United on October 27. Moments later, the helicopter unfortunately came crashing down. According to media reports, Kasper Schmeichel, who was present at the scene, ran towards the burning helicopter to look for survivors, but was stopped by the police officials.
"I was on the pitch and I waved him off," said Schmeichel, before he flew with teammates and coaching staff to Bangkok to attend Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha's funeral.
"I saw it all happen. It is something that will stay with me, unfortunately. It's not a nice memory but I've had all the support that I need.
"The club has been great and everybody has received the support that they needed."
Schmeichel joined Leicester City in 2011, a year after Vichai bought the club, and was a pivotal figure in their fairy-tale Premier League title win in 2016.
He admitted to shaking as he warmed up in Cardiff before the game on Saturday.
The goalkeeper, who had the Thai national flag on his gloves, then joined his teammates and backroom staff around the centre circle to pay tribute to Vichai and the other victims.
"It was tough. But we wanted to do it for the chairman and his family," said Schmeichel, who had grief counselling during the week.
"We wanted to be together about this, because we've all lost what feels like a family member. Wes (Morgan the captain) said a bit, I said a bit. People had a lot to say because he meant so much to so many people. Everyone wanted to chip in. He brought everybody here and none of this -- the memories, this family he's built, the culture he's instilled -- would be here without him," Schmeichel further added.
Schmeichel said Vichai transcended the traditional image of a Premier League club owner.
"When he took over this club it was in a pretty precarious situation, and to build what he has is quite amazing," he said.
"It's one thing building a team and a club that can perform on the pitch but we're more proud of the family that he's created and the feeling he's instilled in everybody being welcome.
"It doesn't matter who you are or what kind of position you have at the club. Whether it be player, staff, stadium staff, security -- whatever it may be -- everyone is equal and part of the family."
(With AFP inputs)