Leicester: Leicester’s grieving players will take to the field for the first time since the death of the club’s owner in a helicopter crash when they visit Cardiff City for a Premier League game on Saturday.
The two teams have decided that the match will go ahead as planned in the Welsh capital, with a minute’s silence before kick-off and players wearing black armbands as a mark of respect for Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four other people who were killed in the tragedy.
Leicester’s players have been visibly affected by the incident and spent Monday and Tuesday attending commemorative events to pay tribute to Vichai, the club’s popular Thai owner whose helicopter spiralled out of control as it left the King Power Stadium following a Premier League game against West Ham United on Saturday.
“We will be offering our support to Leicester City in any way necessary in respect of this weekend’s fixture,” Cardiff chief executive Ken Choo said.
Leicester’s English League Cup match against Southampton, scheduled for Tuesday, had been cancelled, while games involving the club’s women’s team were also called off in wake of the crash.
Meanwhile, as investigators try to determine the cause of the crash, an aviation expert has said the helicopter appeared to be operating fine at the time of take off.
New footage emerged of the AgustaWestland AW169, filmed from the pitchside, shows the helicopter taking off at the King Power Stadium. It is seen rising into the sky before appearing to go into a tailspin and rapidly losing altitude.
Footage courtesy: Sun newspaper
The cause of the accident is being investigated and theories include the helicopter hitting a drone and bird strike. The video has been handed to investigators.
Aviation expert David Learmount said the video completed take-off without any issues.
“At lift-off you can’t see anything that’s abnormal, but it’s an awkward job climbing out of a stadium because ideally you want some forward speed as well as continuing to climb,” Learmount told the BBC.
“The pilot climbed very nearly vertically until he was above the height of the stadium and then started to turn to the right — it was very shortly after that control was lost.
“Just after he did a manoeuvre that seemed to be intended, he lost control.”