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29th Oct 2018

Martin O’Neill Leads Irish Tributes To Leicester City Owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha

James Fenton

Republic Of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill has paid tribute to Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha who passed away in a helicopter crash on Saturday evening, along with four other people on board.

The news has stunned the world of football, with tributes to the Thai businessman and messages of solidarity with Leicester coming in from all corners of the globe. A common theme is one of admiration for how Srivaddhanaprabha oversaw the club’s unlikely Premier League title victory back in 2016, an underdog story which inspired many others around the globe.

O’Neill, who managed The Foxes between 1995 and 2000, has spoken to BBC Radio Ulster about the work that Srivaddhanaprabha did for his adopted community, saying:

“He went into the community, he made donations to the universities, donations to the hospitals, and the Leicester people took to him.

“You can see that outpouring of grief at the moment, it’s as genuine as they come, and I think that speaks volumes for the man that we’re talking about.

“This was a normal practice for the owner to come in, park the helicopter in the middle of the pitch and everybody thought it was great.

O’Neill added that “The winning of the Premier League a couple of years ago was absolutely phenomenal and the manager has to take great credit for that but let’s be fair, I don’t think any of that would have happened had it not been for the owner. I think all of Leicester are well aware of that.”

Due to Saturday’s tragedy, Leicester’s EFL Cup match against Southampton tomorrow night has been postponed.