The outpouring of emotion following the death of the owner of Leicester City in a helicopter crash is a natural response, a psychotherapist has said.
Leicester City supporters, players and staff, as well as fans of other football clubs and members of the wider community have been paying tribute to Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the club’s owner and chairman.
Vichai was killed along with passengers Nursara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare, both members of his staff, pilot Eric Swaffer and his partner Izabela Roza Lechowicz, also a professional pilot, when their helicopter crashed near the stadium an hour after the club’s game at home to West Ham United on Saturday evening.
Thousands of people have paid their respects, including Prime Minister Theresa May and Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, who is president of the English Football Association.
A carpet of flowers, shirts and scarves has been laid in tribute at the King Power Stadium, Leicester City’s home ground, and countless messages have been posted on social media sites and message boards.
Jessica Mitchell, a BACP member who works with loss and bereavement, said: “People are feeling low about this and if they are it is totally acceptable. It’s a natural feeling.
“If you lose a close relative, a brother, a sister, a partner, then everyone expects you to be sad. And fans will feel this as well. They feel part of the club, he brought people together, he contributed to the community.
“People will find it helpful to mark it in some way. Some will take part in public grieving, others will mark it in some private way, and some will mark it online.
“And there might be people in cities that are quite far away from Leicester who are waking up today and feeling sad. That is normal.”
Jessica said the tragedy in Leicester could, for some people, bring back feelings associated with their own losses.
“Maybe it is resonating inside them about someone they have lost,” she said. “Sometimes that’s what we get when we hear about moments like this. And people will be thinking about his family, and the families of the other passengers.”
And Jessica said that witnesses to the crash and its aftermath, including the emergency services, could be affected in the coming days and weeks.
“For anyone witnessing that it would have been an intense experience,” she said. “They might not be feeling that right now but if they find themselves in days and weeks focusing on it then they might want to speak to someone.”
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