Glamorous globetrotting life of fitness fanatic Miss Thai Universe runner-up, Nursara Suknamai, who became Leicester City owner’s personal assistant

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A FORMER Thai beauty queen who became the Leicester City owner’s personal assistant was one of those killed in the helicopter crash.

Nursara Suknamai, who worked for the club’s billionaire owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, died alongside her boss and three others.

 Police confirmed Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was killed along with two staff members, including Nursara

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Police confirmed Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was killed along with two staff members, including Nursara

Nursara was runner-up in Miss Thailand Universe 2005 and won a ‘Miss Photogenic’ title the same year.

She regularly posted pictures with top footballers at the club and uploaded snaps of her jet-set lifestyle working for Mr Srivaddhanaprabha.

She uploaded a snap with England boss Gareth Southgate when he watched Leicester’s defeat at home to Liverpool in September.

She attended Royal Ascot and Sandown races this summer and also posted videos from the World Cup in Russia.

 Nursara regularly posted snaps with Leicester players (here with Harry Maguire and Wes Morgan)

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Nursara regularly posted snaps with Leicester players (here with Harry Maguire and Wes Morgan)

Her last Instagram post was a picture of her in red lipstick taken on Wednesday.

Nursara was also a fitness fanatic, who regularly shared workout and yoga videos on her social media accounts.

Tributes were paid to her last night.

One wrote: “May you Rest in Peace beautiful angel.”

Another said: “Rest well my dear, you are an angel.”

 Nursara pictured with England manager Gareth Southgate last month

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Nursara pictured with England manager Gareth Southgate last month
 The club will set up a book of condolence at the stadium from Tuesday morning for supporters to pay their respects

Instagram

The club will set up a book of condolence at the stadium from Tuesday morning for supporters to pay their respects
 The keen football fan also posted fitness pictures and workouts to Instagram

Instagram

The keen football fan also posted fitness pictures and workouts to Instagram
 Hundreds of tributes were left outside the ground on Sunday by mourners following Nursara's death

Instagram

Hundreds of tributes were left outside the ground on Sunday by mourners following Nursara’s death
 Nursara was a keen football fan and attended various matches during Russia's 2018 World Cup

Instagram

Nursara was a keen football fan and attended various matches during Russia’s 2018 World Cup
 The helicopter of Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha lands on the pitch at the end of the game on Saturday

Getty – Contributor

The helicopter of Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha lands on the pitch at the end of the game on Saturday

Nursara died alongside Leicester’s Thai owner Mr Srivaddhanaprabha, fellow Foxes staff member Kaveporn Punpare, pilot Eric Swaffer and his partner Izabela Roza Lechowicz.

They were killed when the helicopter fell from the sky and burst into flames at the south east end of the club’s King Power Stadium shortly after Saturday evening’s 1-1 Premier League draw with West Ham.

Pilot Eric has been credited with saving lives by guiding the aircraft away from crowds on the ground.

Cameraman Dan Cox said: “He was heroic. That helicopter could have crashed into the stadium, into the media compound where TV crews were packing up, or into the car park where I was.

“He crashed into the part of the grounds or car park where there wasn’t anyone. It could have been so much worse if the pilot hadn’t done that.”

 Pilots and partners Izabela Lechowicz and Eric Swaffer both died in the tragedy
Pilots and partners Izabela Lechowicz and Eric Swaffer both died in the tragedy
 The couple enjoyed travelling the world and working together
The couple enjoyed travelling the world and working together
 Leicester City chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha had an amazing bond with supporters

Getty – Contributor

Leicester City chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha had an amazing bond with supporters
 The fifth victim was the owner’s right-hand man Kaveporn Punpare, nicknamed Golf

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The fifth victim was the owner’s right-hand man Kaveporn Punpare, nicknamed Golf

Eric is understood to have flown royals and the Dalai Lama in more than 20 years’ experience.

The helicopter took off from the half-way line of the pitch after the final whistle at 7.25pm.

Onlookers said it was clear there was a problem with the tail rotor.

BT Sport pundit Jake Humphrey pointed to the aircraft from the studio during a live broadcast at the stadium and said: “As you can see the owners are now heading off.”

 An aerial view of the wreckage of the helicopter in Leicester

Sky News

An aerial view of the wreckage of the helicopter in Leicester
 The helicopter became engulfed in a ball of flames

Rex Features

The helicopter became engulfed in a ball of flames
 The helicopter took off and crashed following Saturday's evening match against West Ham

Rex Features

The helicopter took off and crashed following Saturday’s evening match against West Ham

The crash was then confirmed by the presenter live on air and the programme brought to an early end as the crew were evacuated from the stadium.

The Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) is leading the investigation into how the Agusta Westland AW169 helicopter crashed.

The aircraft’s manufacturers said it was the first accident involving one of its Agusta Westland AW169 helicopters.

The tragedy is being described as the “darkest day” in Leicester City’s history, and mourners began laying wreaths near the stadium on Sunday morning.

Players paid tribute on social media to Mr Srivaddhanaprabha, who became chairman of the club in 2011.

 Flowers and tributes were left outside the King Power Stadium

AP:Associated Press

Flowers and tributes were left outside the King Power Stadium

Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel said he was “totally devastated and heartbroken” by the news and added: “It is difficult to put into words how much you have meant to this football club and to the city of Leicester.

“We now have a responsibility as a club, as players and fans to honour you. From knowing you we do this by being the family you created.”

Leicester and former England striker Jamie Vardy described Mr Srivaddhanaprabha as a “legend” and an “incredible man who had the biggest heart”.

 Leicester City fans pay their respects following the helicopter crash

SWNS:South West News Service

Leicester City fans pay their respects following the helicopter crash

The Duke of Cambridge, president of the Football Association, said he was “lucky” to have known Mr Srivaddhanaprabha “for several years”.

Paying tribute he said: “He made such a big contribution to football, not least through Leicester City’s magical 2016 season that captured the imagination of the world.

“He will be missed by all fans of the sport and everyone lucky enough to have known him.”

Self-made Thai billionaire Mr Srivaddhanaprabha was very highly thought of in the city.

Under his ownership the club rose out of the Championship and eventually won the Premier League for the first time in its history in 2015-16, defying odds of 5,000-1.

Superintendent Steve Potter said it was likely to take several days to complete the investigation around the crash site.


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