- Leicester City Council award Leicester City Honorary Freedom of the City
- Chairman Khun Top and late Chairman Khun Vichai to be first recipients of ‘City of Leicester’ award
- Vote of City Councillors passed on Wednesday evening
The accolade is the highest possible honour the City Council can bestow and is awarded to recipients in recognition of their contributions to the City of Leicester, with the Football Club put forward in recognition of both its sporting achievements and commitment to local communities.
In addition, the City Councillors also approved an inaugural civic honour – the City of Leicester Award – with the first recipients to be Leicester City Chairman Khun Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha and his beloved late father and former Chairman Khun Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.
The award will recognise those whose outstanding achievements have had a positive and wide-reaching impact on the city as well as being a source of inspiration to its residents. This includes contributions to educational, cultural, civic or economic life of the city, alongside achievements that have gained the city wider recognition.
Leicester City Chairman Khun Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha said: “It gives me and my family incredible pride to accept these wonderful honours.
“The city of Leicester has given so much to us and we remain determined to place ourselves at the heart of this fantastic community by giving back all we can to the people who have made us feel at home from the moment we arrived.
“We know how much this Football Club means to the people of Leicester and we are humbled and grateful to receive such high honours.”
Leicester City Chief Executive Susan Whelan added: “On behalf of Leicester City, we give our thanks to the City Council and the people of Leicester for bestowing such a prestigious honour on the Football Club.
“Our fans and community are the lifeblood of our Football Club and we know that football has the capacity to make such a difference to so many people – be that on the pitch or through our work off it.
“Our mission remains to continue to make that difference to people by giving them a Football Club they can be proud of, and we are truly privileged to be able to accept such a wonderful honour from the city of Leicester.”
Leicester City have enjoyed unprecedented success since Khun Vichai became Chairman following the purchase of the Football Club in 2010. Significant investments have been made in the team, the stadium, facilities and the community in the years that have followed, with Khun Aiyawatt now continuing to build on the wonderful legacy left by his father.
On the pitch, the Club won the Championship title in 2013/14 and followed that two years later with its first-ever Premier League title – overcoming odds of 5000/1 to complete an achievement that stands as one of sport’s all-time greatest feats.
UEFA Champions League and Europa League campaigns followed, while the Club lifted its first-ever FA Cup title after beating Chelsea at Wembley Stadium in May 2021, as well as the Community Shield later that year.
The Club also underlined its commitment to growing the women’s game, with the professionalisation of LCFC Women in 2020. They were promoted to the Women’s Super League for the first time as Championship winners last season and are now the only professional women’s side in the country with exclusive use of an elite training facility.
Significant investments have been made off the pitch, with a new world-class training facility built in north Leicestershire and plans in place for the development of the area around King Power Stadium – including an 8,000-seat expansion.
The Club’s charitable foundation was renamed as the Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Foundation following the Chairman’s tragic death – along with staff members Kaveporn Punpare and Nusara Suknamai and pilots Eric Swaffer and Izabela Rosa Lechowicz – in a helicopter accident in 2018. He had made over £4M in personal donations to local causes and the Foundation continues to provide vital support to local causes in his honour.
This is supported by Leicester City in the Community, whose work reaches communities across the county and provides further vital support from the Football Club to thousands of people.
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