Leicester City’s “fairytale” Premier League title win in 2016 was down to the “desire, commitment and vision” of the club’s late owner, says former Foxes manager Claudio Ranieri.
Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was killed in a helicopter crash outside King Power Stadium in October.
Fulham manager Ranieri paid tribute to the Thai in the programme for the Cottagers’ match with Leicester.
“I am honoured to have known him,” said the Italian.
“When people refer to Leicester winning the Premier League title in 2016 as a fairytale, it is the desire, commitment and vision of Vichai and his family made that fairytale possible.
“They won many friends along the way of this incredible journey.”
Ranieri was hired by Srivaddhanaprabha in 2015 and led Leicester to the Premier League title in his first season beating odds of 5,000-1 in one of the greatest sporting stories of all time.
The former Chelsea, Juventus and Monaco boss was sacked in February 2017 with the Foxes one point above the relegation zone after 25 matches.
He laid a wreath at King Power Stadium last month, subsequently joining Fulham to replace Slavisa Jokanovic.
“The tributes that have poured in from all around the world since the tragic news have been truly amazing and have helped to bring the football community together as one,” said Ranieri.
“I would like to offer my personal thanks to Vichai for his support, positivity, words of encouragement, smiles and everything he did for me when I was at Leicester.
“My heartfelt condolences to his wife, Aimon, his son, Aiyawatt, and the entire family, and to the staff and supporters of Leicester and everyone associated with the club.
“Vichai will be missed. He leaves a legacy which will live on.”