LONDON • Aiyawatt "Top" Srivaddhanaprabha has pledged to continue his late father's "big mission" and do everything in his power to carry out his vision and dreams.
In the family's first public reaction since the helicopter crash that killed Thai billionaire owner Vichai and four others after Leicester's English Premier League game last Saturday, his son acknowledged the businessman's legacy on Wednesday and paid tribute to all those who have mourned his passing.
Aiyawatt, 33, the club's vice-chairman, said: "I would like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for this overwhelming support.
"Thank you also to Leicestershire Police and the emergency services for their fast response, and their professionalism and sensitivity.
"What happened made me realise how important my dad was to many people all over the world, I am touched by how many people kept him close to their hearts.
"I am extremely proud to have such an extraordinary father and nothing would make him prouder than to see how the Leicester City family that he built is supporting each other through a time of such sadness.
"He loved his family and he made Leicester City into a family.
"From him, I have received a legacy to pass on and I intend to do just that. I will do everything I can to carry on his vision and dreams.
"I know that I will receive the support I need to make this happen, and I am so grateful for all the messages and kind words.
"My family and I would like to thank each and every one of you for your sincere kindness and good intentions during the most difficult time for us.
"I miss you dad, with all my heart."
According to Sky Sports, Vichai's funeral will be held in Bangkok tomorrow and will last for several days in accordance with Buddhist tradition. The ceremony has been granted "royal sponsorship" status, with the Nation reporting that Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn had given an urn for the bathing rite.
Vichai, a retail magnate, bought Leicester in 2010. The club stunned the football world by beating odds of 5,000-1 to win the EPL title in 2016.
REUTERS, THE GUARDIAN