Being present at The King Power Stadium for the game against West Ham, was to be a special event in a tragical way. We left the stadium straight after the game and walked back to our hotel, The Belmont, a 20 minutes walk from the stadium.
We had changed, gone for drinks and were ready for a good and relaxed meal at the San Carlo, an Italian restaurant in the city center. As we were ready to dine, messages starts to tick in, from Norway, were we residents, and then the staff also gets the information about the accident, and we are all just in a bit of shock. One comes over to us, and says, look here, this man has dined here, this is crazy, and again surreal.
Not in the best mood, finishes our meal, and as we leave the restaurant, nothing is confirmed at this time, just have to look and see what is happening. We return to the hotell, and are just looking at our phones and trying to find as much information as possible.
A flight and train trip is in front of us the next morning. Before I get out of bed, the phone starts to ring, and my local newspaper back home calls to try to ask if I am in Leicester, and if I had seen something, or been at the scene. Told them, no, left the ground before, don’t really know what happened, not knowing more than what has been in the news. Then the Norwegian national broadcaster NRK is calling me. I have nothing to them either, but address the messages to the chairman of the Scandinavian Branch of the Supporters Club, at this time we have no confirmations or no information to give.
Well back in Norway and early next morning, while driving to work, hearing “Imagine” on the radio, that song, that really perfect song, it is stuck in my head and I will always remember were I was when this song was played, what was on my mind, passing my local church, in my car, I was thinking of the owner of Leicester City FC and this tragic accident and the deaths also involving four other persons.
Later in the evening Premier League TV is calling, asking for an interview, but unfortunately not able to make it, as I am heading for my train trip back home, so I just forward the message to our Scandinavian Supporters Chairman, who at this time is ready to fly out to Leicester. He had tickets for the Southampton game, but instead of postponing the flight, he makes the trip to show his respect, taking part in this very special and sad moment of the club and the city.
A Danish member of the Supporters Club is in the same hours taking his trip from his home to Copenhagen to do interviews with his national television and radio station. This guy has a big “Foxes” heart and is a faithful and devoted member of the Leicester City fanbase.
For me personally, being in Leicester at this time, and present at the ground just hours before this terrible accident was first of all very scary, strange and of course will always be clear on my mind.
We all know what the owners have done for the football club, showing our respect in a difficult time for those who have lost their family members. Hope is that the the club and fans can unite and build the bonds even stronger, get closer and move this club forward in the spirit of a very special person. Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha has been very important to all of us Leicester City’s. He helped us all reach a happy place I believe was impossible to even dream of.
As a foreign fan of Leicester City, feel that seeing people from abroad, being owners, players, managers and coaches, makes it all normal to be a fan of a football team so far away. Sharing daily talk with Leicester City fans from Denmark, Sweden and Norway, makes it less scary and at this moment important and special. Having contact at times with “Foxes” from all over the World, Australians, Germans, Americans and of course the locals of Leicester, makes this less difficult, feeling the togetherness and energy.
Thoughts are mostly of those families who have lost their special once, showing the greatest of support and respect once again.
Forever Leicester City
All five of you