Son vows to press on with Leicester City owner’s ‘big vision’
BANGKOK The youngest son of Leicester City's late Thai owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha issued a heartfelt message of thanks on Wednesday for the cascade of condolences that followed his father's death in a helicopter crash, vowing to "carry on his big vision".
Mr Vichai, 60, was Thailand's fifth richest man when he died in the accident after watching his team play on Saturday.
He made billions from his King Power duty-free monopoly in Thailand, using the cash to invest in hotels, horses and Leicester's once-unremarkable football club, which shocked the sporting world by winning the Premier League in 2016.
In the first public reaction from the family, Mr Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha - also known by his nickname, Top - thanked people for the messages of support from across the world.
"I'm extremely proud to have such an extraordinary father," he said in an Instagram post.
"I'm touched by how many people kept him close to their hearts."
Mr Vichai leaves behind a wife and four children - two sons and two daughters. All five are on the executive board of King Power. But Mr Aiyawatt - already vice-chairman of Leicester - appeared to confirm he has been anointed to lead at least parts of the King Power empire.
"He has left me with a legacy to continue and I will do everything I can to carry on his big vision and dreams," the post said.
"From him I have received a very big mission and legacy to pass on... and I intend to do just that."
Leicester City also published a statement from Mr Aiyawatt on their website in which he thanked "everyone from the bottom of my heart", including the emergency services.
"For a long time, my father taught me to be strong and to take care of my family," he said.
"He loved his family. He made Leicester City into a family.
"And nothing would make him prouder than to see how the Leicester City family that he built is supporting each other through a time of such sadness."
He added: "I miss you dad, with all of my heart." - AFP