Leicester

Leicester City helicopter crash: Walk to honour victims

People on march Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The walk was scheduled for the nearest home game to the anniversary

Thousands of Leicester City supporters have taken part in a walk to mark the first anniversary of a helicopter crash which claimed five lives.

The club's chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others died in the crash outside the King Power Stadium on 27 October last year.

Supporters walked from Magazine Square in the city to the ground ahead of their game against Burnley

One fan taking part said Mr Vichai "made our dreams come true".

Two members of Mr Vichai's staff - Kaveporn Punpare and Nusara Suknamai - died in the crash as well as pilots and partners Eric Swaffer and Izabela Roza Lechowicz.

Image caption Fans of all ages took part, all paying tribute to the man they called "the boss"

About 5,000 people, many carrying flowers and scarves, were estimated to have taken part in the march which was led by large banner bearing Mr Vichai's face.

Lifelong Leicester fan Rishi Kotak said: "This march means a lot. The whole family cleared their diaries to make sure we could be here.

"Vichai was a man who brought a lot of different cultures, people and a city a lot closer together."

Tributes also were paid online, with one fan tweeting: "Thank you Vichai, thank you Boss."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Fans said Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha had brought the city and its people closer together
Image caption (L-R): Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, Kaveporn Punpare, Nusara Suknamai, Izabela Roza Lechowicz and Eric Swaffer

A memorial park, named in Mr Vichai's honour, will open at the crash site on the anniversary itself.

Tens of thousands of people took part in a previous walk for the victims two weeks after the crash.

It was named the 5,000-1 walk, after the odds the club overcame to secure their 2016 Premier League win.

The new walk was scheduled for the nearest home game to the anniversary.

Fan Craig Elliott, who has helped to organise both walks, said: "We were truly overwhelmed when the estimate of 50,000 people was given for the first walk.

"With the first anniversary upon us we felt it had to be done again. Khun Vichai did so much, not just for the club but for the city as a whole."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The march took place before Leicester's game against Burnley
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Many on the march brought flowers to be placed near a portrait of Mr Vichai

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