Getty Images
Now playing
01:53
Leicester City confirms owner's death in crash
Host TV
Now playing
07:15
'What are you so afraid of?': Journalist presses Putin on political opposition
Russian President Vladimir Putin faces questions from reporters after his meeting with US President Joe Biden in Geneva, Switzerland.
Host TV
Russian President Vladimir Putin faces questions from reporters after his meeting with US President Joe Biden in Geneva, Switzerland.
Now playing
04:44
Putin faces question about cyber attacks against the US
CNN's Christiane Amanpour provides analysis following a summit between President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
CNN
CNN's Christiane Amanpour provides analysis following a summit between President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Now playing
01:59
Amanpour: Biden did something very different than Trump
President Joe Biden meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, at the 'Villa la Grange', in Geneva, Switzerland.
Patrick Semansky/AP
President Joe Biden meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, at the 'Villa la Grange', in Geneva, Switzerland.
Now playing
02:55
Ward describes 'uncomfortable' photo op between Biden and Putin
biden putin summit us russia press pools clash collins sot vpx_00012417.png
biden putin summit us russia press pools clash collins sot vpx_00012417.png
Now playing
01:40
Collins: 'Combative exchanges' between Russian and US press corps
Pool
Now playing
02:49
See Biden and Putin shake hands as summit begins in Geneva
GAZA CITY, GAZA - JUNE 15: Flames are seen after an Israeli air strike hit Hamas targets in Gaza City, Gaza on June 15, 2021. (Photo by Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
GAZA CITY, GAZA - JUNE 15: Flames are seen after an Israeli air strike hit Hamas targets in Gaza City, Gaza on June 15, 2021. (Photo by Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Now playing
03:58
Israel launches airstrikes in Gaza over incendiary balloons
China successfully launched the first module of its planned space station from the Wenchang launch site in the southern island of Hainan, according to the China National Space Administration.
CCTV
China successfully launched the first module of its planned space station from the Wenchang launch site in the southern island of Hainan, according to the China National Space Administration.
Now playing
01:04
See China's last rocket launch to send in space key component of its space station
BANGUI, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC - MARCH 18: A view of daily life in part of street on March 18, 2021 in the capital Bangui, Central African Republic.  Most of the population in Bangui live well below the poverty line, in a country traumatised by years of unrest. (Photo by Siegfried Modola/Getty Images)
Siegfried Modola/Getty Images
BANGUI, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC - MARCH 18: A view of daily life in part of street on March 18, 2021 in the capital Bangui, Central African Republic. Most of the population in Bangui live well below the poverty line, in a country traumatised by years of unrest. (Photo by Siegfried Modola/Getty Images)
Now playing
06:12
Russian mercenaries accused of atrocities in the Central African Republic
Taiwan has been the chief source of tension between Washington and Beijing for decades and is widely seen as the most likely trigger for a potentially catastrophic US-China war. The worry about Taiwan comes as China wields new strength from years of military buildup. CNN's David Culver reports.
PLA Air Force/Weibo
Taiwan has been the chief source of tension between Washington and Beijing for decades and is widely seen as the most likely trigger for a potentially catastrophic US-China war. The worry about Taiwan comes as China wields new strength from years of military buildup. CNN's David Culver reports.
Now playing
04:04
Dramatic videos show Chinese naval exercises amid rising tensions over Taiwan (April 2021)
View of the construction site of the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant in Taishan city, south China's Guangdong province, 12 September 2012.
Zhou huadong/Imaginechina/AP
View of the construction site of the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant in Taishan city, south China's Guangdong province, 12 September 2012.
Now playing
03:30
Concerns over possible leak at nuclear plant in southern China
screengrab japan lonely death
CNN
screengrab japan lonely death
Now playing
04:04
Inside Japan's growing 'lonely death' clean-up service
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a special session to vote on a new government at the Knesset in Jerusalem, on June 13, 2021. - A delicate eight-party alliance united by animosity for Netanyahu is poised to take over with right-wing Naftali Bennett as prime minister, if the coalition deal passes today's slated parliamentary vote. (Photo by Emmanuel DUNAND / AFP) (Photo by EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP via Getty Images)
Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a special session to vote on a new government at the Knesset in Jerusalem, on June 13, 2021. - A delicate eight-party alliance united by animosity for Netanyahu is poised to take over with right-wing Naftali Bennett as prime minister, if the coalition deal passes today's slated parliamentary vote. (Photo by Emmanuel DUNAND / AFP) (Photo by EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
02:39
Former ally replaces Netanyahu as Israeli prime minister
CCTV via AFP
Now playing
01:54
Video of explosion aftermath in China shows a harrowing picture
Employees prepare the National Stadium for the Copa America soccer tournament in Brasilia, Brazil, Friday, June 11, 2021. The stadium will host the opening game on June 13. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
Eraldo Peres/AP
Employees prepare the National Stadium for the Copa America soccer tournament in Brasilia, Brazil, Friday, June 11, 2021. The stadium will host the opening game on June 13. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
Now playing
02:26
Bolsonaro's boast to host Copa América despite Covid-19 pandemic
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.”