Getty Images
Now playing
01:53
Leicester City confirms owner's death in crash
i-Cable
Now playing
03:18
First person charged under Hong Kong national security law
A police convoy drives past a wall painted with the president's image down the alley of the entrance to the residence of the president in Port-au-Prince on July 15, 2021, in the wake of Haitian President Jovenel Moise's assassination on July 7, 2021. - The assassination of Jovenel Moise by armed mercenaries was planned in the neighboring Dominican Republic, say Haitian police, who announced the detention of the slain president's chief bodyguard and three other members of his security detail. (Photo by Valerie Baeriswyl / AFP) (Photo by VALERIE BAERISWYL/AFP via Getty Images)
VALERIE BAERISWYL/AFP/AFP via Getty Images
A police convoy drives past a wall painted with the president's image down the alley of the entrance to the residence of the president in Port-au-Prince on July 15, 2021, in the wake of Haitian President Jovenel Moise's assassination on July 7, 2021. - The assassination of Jovenel Moise by armed mercenaries was planned in the neighboring Dominican Republic, say Haitian police, who announced the detention of the slain president's chief bodyguard and three other members of his security detail. (Photo by Valerie Baeriswyl / AFP) (Photo by VALERIE BAERISWYL/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
04:52
Exclusive: Signs of coverup in Haiti assassination investigation
Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman meets with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Tianjin, China, on July 26, 2021.  Beijing has indicated that the U.S. is treating China as an "imaginary enemy" after the meeting between top diplomats Sherman and Wang.
Sherman Meets With Wang in Tianjin, China, Beijing - 26 Jul 2021. U.S. State Department/UPI/Shutterstock
U.S. State Department/UPI/Shutterstock
Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman meets with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Tianjin, China, on July 26, 2021. Beijing has indicated that the U.S. is treating China as an "imaginary enemy" after the meeting between top diplomats Sherman and Wang. Sherman Meets With Wang in Tianjin, China, Beijing - 26 Jul 2021. U.S. State Department/UPI/Shutterstock
Now playing
01:09
Chinese official: The US portrays China as an imaginary enemy
Now playing
03:38
Pakistani Taliban leader reacts to Afghan gains after US withdrawal
Australia vietnam indonesia covid holmes pkg intl hnk vpx_00000503.png
Australia vietnam indonesia covid holmes pkg intl hnk vpx_00000503.png
Now playing
02:27
Australian PM calls anti-lockdown protesters 'reckless' and 'self-defeating'
TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 23: General view inside the stadium as fireworks go off while Naomi Osaka of Team Japan lights the Olympic cauldron with the Olympic torch during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on July 23, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 23: General view inside the stadium as fireworks go off while Naomi Osaka of Team Japan lights the Olympic cauldron with the Olympic torch during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on July 23, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:22
Tokyo 2020 Games officially underway after yearlong delay
DESKTOP afghan pilot 2
CNN
DESKTOP afghan pilot 2
Now playing
02:00
'They would just try to break me': First female Afghan Air Force pilot on adversity in the military
CNN
Now playing
02:24
See Tokyo 2020 Olympics from above
Biden town hall vpx
CNN
Biden town hall vpx
Now playing
01:45
Biden reveals what world leaders are asking him about America
siberia russia wildfires climate crisis Brunhuber ctw pkg intl ldn vpx_00003508.png
siberia russia wildfires climate crisis Brunhuber ctw pkg intl ldn vpx_00003508.png
Now playing
02:36
Huge swathes of Siberia are on fire. See how firefighters are responding
Now playing
01:52
London mayor's biggest problem with eased Covid-19 restrictions
belgium church
CNN
belgium church
Now playing
01:44
Catholic shrine opens doors to other faiths amid deadly flooding
England lifted almost all of its Covid-19 restrictions on July 19 amid a rise in cases driven by the spread of the Delta variant. Mandatory mask wearing is gone, limits on the numbers of people who can mix indoor or outdoor have ended, social distancing is limited to people who have tested positive for the virus and airports, and venues like nightclubs and sports stadiums are free to open at full capacity. CNN's Phil Black reports.
CNN
England lifted almost all of its Covid-19 restrictions on July 19 amid a rise in cases driven by the spread of the Delta variant. Mandatory mask wearing is gone, limits on the numbers of people who can mix indoor or outdoor have ended, social distancing is limited to people who have tested positive for the virus and airports, and venues like nightclubs and sports stadiums are free to open at full capacity. CNN's Phil Black reports.
Now playing
03:11
Inside a reopened nightclub as England lifts Covid restrictions
CNN,FUNAI
Now playing
04:53
Indigenous communities battle illegal gold miners in the Amazon
Now playing
03:10
Picturesque German town now choked with mud and debris
Leicester, England CNN —  

On a bitterly cold Sunday outside the King Power Stadium, Bernie Webster tried in vain to hold back the tears.

He is one of hundreds of Leicester City fans who had flocked there, shaken and stunned by the news that the helicopter belonging to the team’s revered chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha had crashed following Saturday’s match against West Ham United. All five people on board the helicopter are believed to have died.

Fans of all ages laid shirts, flowers and scarves. One child cried as she held her parents’ hands, one man couldn’t find the words to express his despair.

Most stood in silence as they thought about the Thai billionaire who means everything to this provincial English football team in the country’s East Midlands.

Tributes laid outside the King Power Stadium in Leicester.
Tom McGowan/CNN
Tributes laid outside the King Power Stadium in Leicester.

“The guy loved the club, you could tell he loved the club,” said 67-year-old Webster, of the man who bankrolled one of the most improbable sporting triumphs of all time.

“And he must’ve loved the people.”

Srivaddhanaprabha took control of Leicester City in 2010, when it was in English football’s second tier.

Four years later, the club was back in the Premier League. Two years after that, it won the league for the first time in its history, overcoming preseason odds of 5,000-1.

But Srivaddhanaprabha is not just revered for his sporting achievements. His family donated $2.5 million towards the building of a new children’s hospital in the city.

And the fans gathered around the stadium are as keen to talk about philanthropy as they are on-field glory.

“What he’s done, not just for this club but for the city,” said Webster. “The money he’s put in the hospital… An absolutely amazing man.”

A drum left by one Leicester fan carries a message of gratitude.
Tom McGowan/CNN
A drum left by one Leicester fan carries a message of gratitude.

A unifying theme among many of the tributes is gratitude. Scores of balloons, shirts and flags marked with the words “Thank You.”

On and off the field philanthropy

A drum wrapped in a Leicester scarf carried the message: “A massive thank you for everything you have done for all of us at LCFC. You will be sadly missed.”

Ajay Pancholi was one of the many Leicester fans who had gathered outside the stadium on that May night in 2016 when the club’s title triumph was confirmed.

He smiled as he remembered being among fellow jubilant Leicester fans, driving down to the stadium with his cousin at 10 p.m. and not leaving until 1 a.m.

Pancholi was back in the same spot Sunday out of admiration for Srivaddhanaprabha.

A sign thanking "Mr Chairman" left at the stadium Sunday.
Tom McGowan/CNN
A sign thanking "Mr Chairman" left at the stadium Sunday.

“Today isn’t about football at all,” said the 36-year-old. “As an individual, he’s almost like an honorary Leicestarian here. He’s done huge amounts for charity, the local area.”

“You’re looking at a human being here,” he added. “It transcends football. It’s a loss to Leicester as a place rather than just the football club alone.”

’A great human being’

Pancholi is a Leicester season ticket holder with his father, Ilesh. Both had been at the stadium less than 24 hours earlier for the 1-1 draw with West Ham.

“Yesterday, as soon as the match finished we got into our cars and we were listening to Radio Leicester,” recalled 59-year-old shop owner Ilesh.

“As soon as we got home there were news flashes that the helicopter has crashed and it was unbelievable, devastating.”

“I can see a lot of people here who are not stadium supporters but they are Leicester City,” he added. “They live here and they love Leicester and they love what the owners of Leicester have done for them.”

Many of the tributes referenced Leicester's Premier League triumph in 2016.
Tom McGowan/CNN
Many of the tributes referenced Leicester's Premier League triumph in 2016.

While Ilesh was wearing a royal blue Leicester City woolen hat and scarf, Ajay was not sporting the club’s colors.

“I’m not wearing my shirt today, because I’m not representing Leicester City fans,” explained Ajay.

“I’m coming as a person who’s in shock at what’s happened to another person. I intentionally didn’t (wear Leicester colors) because that’s not what I’m here representing today. I’m here in honor of respecting a great human being.”