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Bells to ring for Leicester helicopter crash victims

02 November 2018


Supporters pay tribute at Leicester City Football Club on Sunday

Supporters pay tribute at Leicester City Football Club on Sunday

THE bells of Leicester Cathedral are to ring at a half-muffled quarter peal this evening, in memory of the victims of a helicopter crash that killed five last Saturday.

Leicester City Football Club’s owner, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, was among five people who were killed when his helicopter crashed outside the King Power Stadium, shortly after the team had drawn
with West Ham United. The four others were named by police as the pilot, Eric Swaffer; Nursara Suknamai; Kaveporn Punpare; and Izabela Roza Lechowicz. All five who were on board died instantly.

The four others were named by Leicestershire police as the pilot, Eric Swaffer; Nursara Suknamai; Kaveporn Punpare; and Izabela Roza Lechowicz.

The president of the Leicester Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers, Mark Pendery, said on Wednesday that members of the Guild “will be ringing the Cathedral bells on Friday evening, half muffled, to a quarter peal of the Grandsire Triples, in memory of the five people who sadly lost their lives.

“The ringing is scheduled to begin at 7.30 p.m. and will be continuous for approximately one hour. Details of the performance will be recorded and forwarded to the Football Club with our condolences.”

The Dean of Leicester, the Very Revd David Monteith, said: “Bells have rung from Leicester Cathedral on the happiest days in the life of our city. Now they ring in response to one of the saddest days. They signal aloud our love and concern for all at LCFC.”

A prayer station has been set up in the cathedral where visitors can light candles. The cathedral is flying the Leicester FC flag at half-mast until Monday.

On Sunday, the Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Martin Snow, called for churches in the city to observe a minute of silent prayer to remember the victims of the crash.

He said: “I am asking that all our churches pause during their services today and observe a time of silent prayer. . . We stand with the football club, and want to assure them of our support and care at this time.”

A statement issued on Sunday by Leicester City said: “It is with the deepest regret and a collective broken heart that we confirm our chairman, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, was among those to have tragically lost their lives on Saturday evening when a helicopter carrying him and four other people crashed outside King Power Stadium. None of the five people on board survived.

“The primary thoughts of everyone at the club are with the Srivaddhanaprabha family and the families of all those on board at this time of unspeakable loss. In Khun Vichai the world has lost a great man. A man of kindness, of generosity, and a man whose life was defined by the love he devoted to his family and those he so successfully led. Leicester City was a family under his leadership. It is as a family that we will grieve his passing and maintain the pursuit of a vision for the club that is now his legacy.”

Under the ownership of Mr Srivaddhanaprabha, Leicester City won the Premier League in 2016, overcoming improbable odds to do so (News, 6 May 2016).

Hundreds gathered outside the ground on Sunday to leave flowers and pay their respects, including Dean Monteith, visited the ground on Sunday. He said afterwards: “The flowers, shirts, and scarves laid out at King Power Stadium . . . speak of many important things. Standing in the crowd to lay flowers, we were struck how carefully and considerately each item has been placed. . . There is beauty as well as pain in this kaleidoscope of grief.”

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