Leicester players including Jamie Vardy and Kasper Schmeichel shared an emotional moment with fans at the club’s stadium as hundreds of people turned out to remember their chairman.

In front of an ever-growing mass of flowers, shirts and tributes, the devastated players paid their respects to Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha following his death in Saturday’s helicopter crash.

There was a hushed silence before fans broke out into applause for the squad, who were joined by the owner’s son and club vice-chairman, Aiyawatt, known to supporters as Top.

Earlier in the day, his son and wife trod carefully through the tributes to lay a wreath of their own.

The many messages speak for themselves. Thank you for everything you have done for Leicester is a sentiment echoed by many.

Khun Vichai was the man who transformed Leicester City; an owner who truly cared about his club, investing in it, ridding it of debt and ultimately turning it into a 5,000-1 Premier League-winning team.

:: Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was local hero in Leicester

On 2 May 2016, the streets outside the King Power Stadium had erupted in celebration as Leicester achieved the impossible – becoming champions of England in one of the most unlikely triumphs in sporting history.

Now, supporters are united once again, but this time in grief.

Kasabian frontman Tom Meighan, a lifelong Leicester City fan and a familiar face at the ground, said it was difficult to take in.

He told Sky News: I think everyone’s in a state of shock. It’s hard to describe, to get the words out.

They came in, got us out of debt, we avoided relegation, won the Premier League and now this… it feels like it’s died. The dream’s dead now, it’s horrible…

It’s devastating. He was such a lovely man, a lovely family. I’ve got no words left.

Leicester City ambassador Alan Birchenall, a Foxes favourite who has raised almost £2m for good causes, said players and staff had been left stunned by the chairman’s death.

Nobody can believe it, he said.

He was a great man, people loved him. He did so much for the club.

The Thai billionaire died when his helicopter crashed just outside the ground following the 1-1 home draw against West Ham.

The other victims were two of his staff, Nursara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare, pilot Eric Swaffer and Mr Swaffer’s girlfriend Izabela Roza Lechowicz, a fellow pilot.

Supporters continued to turn up at the stadium throughout the day after the deaths were confirmed late on Sunday. With a book of condolence to be opened later this week, the flow of fans is set to continue.

Paul Thompson, 63, a former steward at the club, said he knew Khun Vichai as a genuine, honest, jolly man.

He always wanted to talk to the fans, he said.

He had the club at heart as well. It wasn’t just his business, he loved the team and the fans. I’ve shed a few tears and I’m sure lots of others have too.

Wife Lisa, 46, said: Coming here it just hits you like a tonne of bricks. We just can’t believe it.

Lisa’s son Jordan Thompson said the fans were feeling heartbroken, and added: He was such a humble person – such as providing free beers for the home games, free scarves at away games.

He’s helped numerous charities, donated loads of money.

Just an all round good person.

Peter Zelenczuk, a lifelong Foxes fan, told Sky News: There’s nobody who has done more for this club than this guy.

You have chairman and people who own (other) clubs, and you never see them.

This guy was there all the time. He looked after the club, he was a family man.

He treated the club like it was a part of his family.

http://ooyala.news.sky.com/NkbnlpZzE6RpddBg3NvvzaT9IQDikWpU/DOcJ-FxaFrRg4gtDEwOjM3NjpvMTE79t
(c) Sky News 2018: Devastated Leicester City players join fans to pay tribute to chairman

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