Leicester's FA Cup win fulfills late Thai owner's dreams
published : 16 May 2021 at 14:44
writer: Bangkok Post and Reuters
First was the League Cup trophy. Then the Premier League champions. And now the FA Cup winners.
"Our set is complete!," current club chairman Aiyawatt 'Top' Srivaddhanaprabha tweeted after his team's 1-0 victory over Chelsea in the FA Cup final.
The team won the League Cup trophy three times in 1964, 1997 and 2000. Sixteen years later, Leicester shocked the world of football by winning the English Premier League title. With the win on Saturday, they completed the collection of all English football trophies.
"A beautiful day to celebrate with the team. Am so proud of you, the entire team," he tweeted.
His father, Vichai of the Thai duty-free giant King Power Group, bought the team in 2010 and set the goals of winning the Premier League and FA Cup, the two titles they had never achieved at the time.
Vichai saw them win the English football title in 2016, but sadly was unable to see them make another of his dreams come true on Saturday; he died in a helicopter crash outside the King Power Stadium on Oct 27, 2018. Aiyawatt, known by all players, team staff and fans as Khun Top, became his father's successor, and guided the club to fresh glory on Saturday.
"For Khun Top and his family and what they’ve given this club, I know this was a dream of Khun Vichai’s, so to be able to deliver that today is a good feeling," Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers said on the club's website.
Rogers said after the match that he dedicated the win to the late Thai owner.
Team captain and goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel brought Aiyawatt onto the pitch to join the team in celebrating the moment after the referee blew the final whistle at Wembley Stadium.
Schmeichel described leading Leicester to the club's first ever FA Cup as a dream come true after he played a huge role in beating Chelsea.
Youri Tielemans's stunning strike just after the hour mark separated the sides in front of the largest sports attendance in England since the coronavirus pandemic hit, with 22,000 fans at Wembley.
But Schmeichel had to rescue his side late on with brilliant saves from Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount.
"I've dreamt about this since I was child," said Schmeichel, whose father Peter Schmeichel won three FA Cups with Manchester United.
"We have talked about wanting to win trophies. The performance today, the grit and determination, I'm so proud of everybody, everybody contributed to get to the final. Everyone has played and been sensational."