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Football fans united after tragic events in Leicester

PUBLISHED: 07:00 03 November 2018 | UPDATED: 10:21 03 November 2018

Tributes from the world of football at the King Power Stadium Picture: PA

Tributes from the world of football at the King Power Stadium Picture: PA

PA Wire

We return to league football, but our 1-0 win over Brentford a week ago was sadly overshadowed by events off the pitch.

Tributes in front of a picture of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Picture: PATributes in front of a picture of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Picture: PA

Normally a Norwich City win makes my weekend, but the awful incident at Leicester and Glenn Hoddle being taken ill made me, like so many people around the country, deeply upset and made our win over the Bees irrelevant for the time being.

Watching the scenes last Saturday at the King Power Stadium following the helicopter crash was very distressing and all the fears that Leicester City’s owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was on board were sadly confirmed when it was announced that he and four other people died. They didn’t stand a chance.

One thing that did come from last week’s tragic events was how the football community came together. It may have surprised non-football fans how everybody united in support of those affected, but I’m sure, like me, it didn’t surprise the average football fan.

There may have been much darkness in the game following the crash, but the reaction was heart-warming. It definitely showed, at times like this, that football has no colours. Many supporters around the country, including our own Kathy Blake on behalf of the Canaries Trust, visited the King Power Stadium and paid their respects by signing the book of condolence.

There are many reasons why Vichai was highly respected. For the people of Leicester he gave so much. Not just for the fans of Leicester City but for the community, donating money to the local hospital, University and much more. For the football club he made dreams come true for their supporters. I don’t think there were many fans up and down the country from other clubs who were envious of the success Leicester had – instead, I think most were happy knowing there is still hope for the rest of us outside of the so-called top six that we can still live the dream.

Apart from our success in 1992/93 where we finished third in the inaugural Premier League season, there were no real fairytale stories until Leicester had their magical season in 2015/16. During that season, I kept thinking back to our exploits of 1992/93 and believing Leicester would fall at the final hurdle. But I was wrong – and I was so glad I was.

Vichai was not your normal foreign football club owner. He connected with both the players and fans. Many stories being told by players and fans about Vichai have been heartwarming.

Some may disagree with me, but I can actually see a lot of similarities with our club and Delia & Co. Our board may not be as rich as the Srivaddhanaprabha family, but they are totally dedicated in trying to make us the best and also helping our community, especially with the superb community hub, The Nest.

There have been mistakes at times, as I’m sure I’ll be reminded, but we have always tried to keep up and get back to the promised land by coming up with different ideas and plans.

Also, I’ve witnessed our board interact with the fans with regular forums and meeting up with fan groups at away games. We’ve seen many times where our players have positively interacted with the board especially.

In this day and age with so many owners out of touch with the modern game, let alone players and fans, we really should be grateful for having Delia and Michael as owners. I’m sure fans of clubs like Newcastle and Ipswich don’t have the same relationship with their owners.

Let’s hope from the tragic events of last weekend, people around the country will see the community side of football is far more important than coming into football and treating the club as a PlayStation game.

RIP, Vichai

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