Last Update 14:2
Saturday, 19 October 2019

Leicester City owner's Buddhist funeral starts in Thailand with royal honour

Reuters, Saturday 3 Nov 2018
Leicester  City
Claude Puel, Harry Maguire and Matty James look at tributes left for Leicester City's owner Thai businessman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four other people who died when the helicopter they were travelling in crashed as it left the ground after the match on Saturday, in Leicester, Britain, October 29, 2018 (Photo: Reuters)
Share/Bookmark
Views: 1995
Share/Bookmark
Views: 1995

The funeral of Thai billionaire and Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, killed in a helicopter crash a week ago, got underway at a Bangkok temple on Saturday with a Buddhist bathing rite using water bestowed by the Thai King.

Vichai, 60, founder of Thai duty-free giant King Power International, was killed last Saturday along with four others when his helicopter crashed outside the King Power Stadium in the English city of Leicester after a Premier League match.

The funeral, closed to the public and media, was attended by Vichai's relatives, friends and senior Thai politicians and soccer officials.

It began with a bathing ritual using royally-bestowed water and an eight-sided urn lent as an honour by King Maha Vajiralongkorn, and was followed by recitation ceremonies which will last for seven days.

Thailand's kings have traditionally granted such honours at the funerals of high-ranking state officials or citizens who had devoted their lives to the good of the country.

Outside the temple on Saturday, Kiatisuk "Zico" Senamuang, a former Thai national soccer player and coach who was also at the Leicester match, told reporters that international soccer world had lost an important patron.

"I'm very proud of him... Not only the Thai people but also soccer fans around the world mourn his loss," he said.

Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy and his team mates will travel to Thailand for the funeral after Saturday's Premier League match against Cardiff City.

Vichai, who bought Leicester City in 2010, was adored by fans after the club stunned the soccer world by beating odds of 5,000/1 to win the Premier League title in 2016 in what amounted to a sporting fairy tale.

The Thai tycoon died along with two members of his staff, the pilot and a passenger when the helicopter came down in a car park moments after taking off on Oct. 27. His body arrived in Bangkok on Friday.

He had close ties to the Thai royal family, being bestowed with the last name Srivaddhanaprabha - meaning "glowing light of prosperity" - as an honour to his family in 2012.

Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, nicknamed "Top", Vichai's youngest child and King Power's chief executive officer, said last week that he has "received a very big mission and legacy" from his father.

Vichai's death came just weeks before a planned auction for Thailand's airport duty-free and commercial concessions, threatening to end King Power's near monopoly of the sector.

King Power currently controls more than 90 percent of Thailand's duty-free market, being a sole operator with concessions in all major airports in the country until 2020.

 (For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

Search Keywords:
Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.