Leicester, November 2: Jamie Vardy says the last seven days have been the hardest of his life as Leicester City prepare to play their first match since the death of chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.
Srivaddhanaprabha was one of five victims when his helicopter crashed outside the King Power Stadium around an hour after Leicester's 1-1 draw with West Ham on Saturday (October 27).
His death has seen tributes laid outside the Premier League club's home ground, while the Leicester players and staff gathered on the pitch with the Srivaddhanaprabha family to pay their respects.
Leicester's EFL Cup clash with Southampton was postponed following the news, but they will return to action in the Premier League against Cardiff City this weekend.
Vardy is determined to honour Srivaddhanaprabha with a victory after a harrowing week for everyone involved with the club.
"It's been the hardest week of everyone's lives," he told Sky Sports. "We came in on the Monday, there wasn't any training, it was more of people going for a walk, having little chats, obviously remembering all the good times from Khun Vichai.
"He wasn't just a chairman, he literally was part of your extended family and that's just the person he was.
Former Leicester City striker Emile Heskey visited King Power Stadium earlier today to pay his respects to Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and those who sadly lost their lives. pic.twitter.com/vL3XwSUJaF— Leicester City (@LCFC) November 1, 2018
"It didn't matter who you were, he would always make sure he made the time for you and as the pictures show, he was always smiling and those will be the things that we'll never forget and will always be ingrained in your mind.
"I think everyone's going to have different reactions to it, some people will be affected more than others but I think the main thing is all coming together even stronger and making sure that we do Vichai proud."
On the Cardiff clash, Vardy added: "We all spoke about it, about wanting to play. It's what Vichai would have wanted.
"That's what we're going to do, we know what we've got to do. We're going to go out there and honour his name, put in a performance that will hopefully get the win.
"I know people are saying the result doesn't matter, but for us as lads we want to try and make it a positive result.
Claude Puel paid tribute to Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha during his pre-match press conference this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/BV5X1bR3S0— Leicester City (@LCFC) November 1, 2018
"It's going to be tough, it's going to be very emotional, but we've all sat down and had a chat, and one thing we wanted to make sure we did is play this game and honour the man himself."
Srivaddhanaprabha's funeral is due to begin in Thailand on Saturday, and Vardy confirmed the Leicester squad will be in attendance.
"It will be massively important," said the forward. "We're a close knit group, like one big family.
"And one of the main reasons for that is Vichai, so for us to be there is massively important."