Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel ran out to help helicopter victims

Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel ran out to help Leicester helicopter victims but was ‘held back by police’ it emerges as crash wreckage is removed

  • Claude Puel was at the King Power Stadium when tragedy occurred on Saturday
  • The Leicester boss was in his office with friends and family when he was notified
  • Puel has said it has been his hardest week in management following tragedy 
  • The Frenchman spoke of respect for club chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha 

Footballer Kasper Schmeichel was held back by police as he rushed to help the victims of the Leicester helicopter crash, it emerged today.

The team’s goalkeeper ran out of the stadium after hearing the helicopter of owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha slam into the ground in a car park outside the King Power Stadium on Saturday night.

Witnesses have said he was held back police as he rushed towards the wreckage and the club’s manager Claude Puel today told how his goalkeeper had seen ‘a lot of things’.

Mr Srivaddhanaprabha, two of his staff and two pilots were killed in the crash last weekend. Investigators began removing the wreckage from the scene today.  

Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, pictured with teammate Jamie Vardy, rushed out of the club’s King Power stadium to help the victims of Saturday night’s helicopter crash

The helicopter ablaze after crashing in the King Power Stadium car park on Saturday evening

Investigators began to remove the helicopter wreckage from the scene this afternoon

Sky News reporter Rob Dorsett tweeted: ‘I’d been told that Kasper Schmeichel had to be stopped by police on Saturday night, as he ran towards the burning helicopter to try to help.’

In an interview today, Puel confirmed that Schmeichel – the son of Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel – had witnessed the aftermath. 

‘I think he was the only player remaining a long time after the game,’ he said. ‘We know what he could have seen. It was of course very difficult. Bad moments.’


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He added: ‘I don’t want to give all the details of course. Just for Kasper. He lived this situation and he saw a lot of things.

‘Kasper, like all the players, live all these events in the past with the chairman are devastated.

Schmeichel was among the team’s stars when they visited an extraordinary sea of tributes in memory of Mr Srivaddhanaprabha outside the stadium.

Claude Puel addressed the English media for the first time since last week’s tragic events

Kasper Schmeichel was extremely upset after seeing Srivaddhanaprabha’s helicopter on fire

Puel said he did not see Srivaddhanaprabha after the 1-1 result but had welcomed the Leicester chairman into his office before kick-off.

‘I saw him before the game,’ said Puel. ‘He was happy, with a smile. We discussed a lot. It was a pleasure of course. I could not imagine this thing after.’

Puel said the experience has been his hardest to manage in football but that playing against Cardiff on Saturday was the right thing to do.

‘This weekend and every week on, we will play to honour a man who did so much for our club,’ Puel said. ‘We have a responsibility to continue his way.

‘Vichai made Leicester into what it is, a family. He invested in the club, invested in the city and he invested in people.

‘He truly was loved by everyone inside and outside the club. Personally it was a privilege to work for him. I will treasure the trust he showed in me, and the moments we shared.’ 

Puel and his players — including Harry Maguire (2nd left) — look at the tributes

It was announced on Tuesday that Leicester Premier League clash at Cardiff will go ahead

In an interview today, Puel confirmed that Schmeichel – the son of Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel – had witnessed the flames.

‘Kasper lived his situation, he saw a lot of things,’ he said. ‘All my squad had a lot of sadness, upset.

‘On Monday we had a meeting at the training centre, to speak, to share our feelings, it was important to talk between ourselves and share this difficult moment.

‘We tried to manage this time in the right direction, just to listen. The first day was to share all our sorrow. It was a long day, but it was important to propose for the players different possibilities, to speak to counsellors, to work on the pitch, be in little groups. In the face of tragedy all people have different needs.

‘Afterwards we had our meeting, with Top, with the son, with his wife. I was impressed with their strength and dignity. I would like to thank them because they shared their sorrow with us like a family.’

Club chairman Srivaddhanaprabha was killed when his helicopter crashed on Saturday

Srivaddhanaprabha (centre) played a big role in helping Leicester win the Premier League title

Puel said the decision to play against Cardiff was made unanimously.

‘It is one of the best remedies you can have,’ he said.

‘I have 27 players in the squad and all were ready together to give their best 100 per cent.

‘The result is not important. But our desire, our action, our pride to honour our chairman is the most important thing.

‘After I don’t know, we will see the result. It is a second thing. But about our conviction, our focus, we will be ready.

‘I hope we can find the right balance between conviction and emotion. If we remain just on the emotion it will be difficult of course.

‘I am confident when I saw my players in training session they can give their best. For a few minutes you need your focus, concentration just on the football. Before and after we cannot forget.’ 

Puel paid his respects to club chairman Srivaddhanaprabha along with his players on Monday

Puel has revealed how his office was silent after hearing of last Saturday’s tragedy


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