Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez dedicated his match-winning goal against Tottenham to Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.
The Algerian’s sixth-minute strike sent City back to the top of the Premier League at Wembley and he celebrated by pointing to the sky in dedication to his former chairman, who was killed in a helicopter crash on Saturday night.
Mahrez, who joined City in the summer, was a key figure in Leicester’s stunning Premier League triumph in 2015-16 and was affected by the events at the King Power Stadium over the weekend.
“It’s been very difficult,” he told Sky Sports. “The boss was very special to me, I spent four-and-a-half years there. He was such a good person and I’m very, very sad. That’s why I put my hands in the sky for him.
“He did a lot for me and for Leicester. He was like a dad to us. He had a very big heart. I was heartbroken to hear this news. It’s a difficult situation and I’m with Leicester and the families of the victims.
“I always wanted to play, he would have wanted me to play. He was passionate about football.”
City boss Pep Guardiola said there was never any option Mahrez would not play at Wembley.
The Spaniard said: “All of us spoke with him and asked him how he feels. It was a big loss for all of the families in Leicester and Riyad was part of that for many, many years.
“Of course it was tough but I didn’t have to speak to him in terms of how he felt about playing because I know how competitive he is and how he likes to play in big events and big stages and sometimes playing helps, not to forget but to live it in a better way.”