A STATUE of Leicester City’s legendary chairman Khun Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha will be unveiled at the King Power Stadium this April.
A commitment made by Khun Vichai’s son, Khun Aiyawatt, in the days following his father’s tragic passing in 2018, the statue will be an eternal tribute to the most influential figure in Leicester City’s 138-year history.
Back in 2016, Khun Vichai’s oversaw the club’s Premier League title win and forged close bonds with Leicester’s communities through his famed generosity.
He was among five lives lost in a helicopter accident at King Power Stadium in 2018.
Leicester City Football Club’s chief executive Susan Whelan has welcomed the opportunity to honour the “inspirational figurery”.
“We are very pleased to be sharing this news with our supporters, with the city of Leicester and with football fans all over the world, whose kindness in the wake of Khun Vichai’s passing demonstrated what an inspiration he was to so many people,” she said.
“Khun Vichai’s contribution to this Club and this city – his vision, his generosity and his belief in people – are immortalised in the memory of every person touched by our story. The statue will be a place for people to remember, to celebrate his life and to share those stories for generations to come.”
Khun Vichai was Leicester City Chairman from 2010, overseeing the Club’s return to the top flight of English football. Under his leadership, the Foxes shocked the world in 2016 – defying pre-season odds of 5,000/1 to become Premier League champions in one of the greatest sporting achievements of all time. He helped the Club scale the heights of the game, including an unforgettable run to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League in 2017, all while building a long-term vision that was to become his legacy.
That vision was underpinned by a bond forged with Leicester’s supporters and communities, who were regular beneficiaries of Khun Vichai’s celebrated generosity. While better facilities, gifts and free beer improved the matchday experience for fans, personal donations of over £4M to causes including children’s health services and local charities improved the lives of countless people in Leicester.
Work on a world-leading training facility in Seagrave, north Leicestershire, was underway and plans for the expansion of King Power Stadium were in development, when a helicopter accident tragically claimed the lives of Khun Vichai, staff members Kaveporn Punpare and Nusara Suknamai, and pilots Eric Swaffer and Izabela Lechowicz in October 2018. The memory of all five victims is preserved the Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Memorial Garden, built on the crash site in King Power Stadium’s south-east corner.
Under the leadership of Khun Aiyawatt, the Club opened its Seagrave site in December 2020, while plans for the development of King Power Stadium were submitted in the autumn of 2021 – a few short months after the Foxes lifted the FA Cup for the first time, maintaining the Club’s progress on and off the pitch.
Khun Vichai’s statue will be positioned in the north-west corner of the site, welcoming supporters approaching the stadium from its primary pedestrian routes along Raw Dykes Road. On-site works are expected to commence imminently.
Further information on the statue and its unveiling ceremony will be released in the coming weeks.