As the anniversary of the tragic death of five people including Leicester City Football Club Chairman Khun Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha approaches, the Church of England Bishop and Dean of Leicester have spoken of his legacy of unity and love and a great example of generosity.
When the tragedy happened, the Bishop and Dean visited the stadium and spent time with people as they cried, laid flowers and prayed.
“The incident was such a shock to everyone. We all remember first hearing the news and how hard it was to understand that it could have happened. The loss of those five people continues to be heart-breaking for their families and is still felt by the whole community,” said Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Martyn Snow.
“Yet in looking back, we should recognise the hope that has emerged for our great city. Khun Vichai’s kindness to everyone at the club and his commitment to the city and county generated great unity and loyalty. We saw that in how people responded to the crash and we still see and feel it now. We can all learn from his example of reaching out in person to those around him, whoever they are, whatever their culture, with an attitude of generous respect.”
Dean of Leicester, the Very Revd David Monteith, said: “There was an incredible sadness over the city when it happened. Khun Vichai was known in person by the players, their families and many fans. It is a family, a close community, and you feel it when you go to the ground. His legacy is one of unity, love and ongoing commitment to the community, city and county, and of philanthropy.
“A year on from the shocking death of these five people, we stand together in the solidarity of grief. We recognise this is not something you get over in a year. We pray for all the families of those who died; that they may know God’s eternal peace even in their sadness.
He added that Khun Vichai’s personal donation to the Cathedral to help with the reburial of King Richard III in 2015 showed his reverence of monarchy and his support for the community. With the further generous grant of £800,000 from The Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Foundation for our Leicester Cathedral Revealed Project, his legacy will be manifest in this building not just for years but for centuries to come.
“Each of us can reach out across boundaries and be generous for the common good. His was a great example for us, particularly all at this time,” said the Dean.