Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel was in tears during the minute’s silence before this emotional Premier League match.
There were many more tears at the end when Leicester City players went down to the away section at Cardiff City Stadium to celebrate their success in honour of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.
Manager Claude Puel was pushed to the front by goalscorer Demarai Gray and received their applause, saying: “It was tough to find the balance of emotions – self control, desire, aggression.
“It was good to share the winning feeling with fans, players and staff. The Leicester family together.”
While 3,000 Leicester fans sang their players seemed happy with a huge release of emotion after the darkest week in the club’s history.
Supporters sang ‘There’s only one Vichai’ throughout the 90 minutes and goalkeeper Schmeichel, a former Cardiff player, said: “He had a big affect on my life. He affected so many lives in a good way.
“A man we are proud to have known. We are all thinking of his family. We are hurting, but what are they going through? We wanted to do it for them and hope we did his family proud.”
The home team had to look on, taking in a defeat which looks the most damaging result in a season during which Cardiff have played 12, won one and lost nine.
Warnock’s men have slipped into the bottom three because Newcastle earned a win and right now it’s looking bleak for the Bluebirds.
The winning goal came after 55 minutes when Ben Chilwell crossed and Demarai Gray side-footed a half volley into the net.
Leicester’s celebrations were wild. You could see how much it meant to them.
“It’s been a strange week and I’m glad it’s out of the way,” said Cardiff manager Neil Warnock.
“The players gave everything and the fans were amazing. The respect they showed and the way they were together. It was emotional out there.
“It’s been astonishing how difficult it has been this week, three or four players in particular. Whether things were triggered for them by what happened I don’t know.
“Training has not been the same and we had to have a word with the lads. But nobody could fault their effort and it was fine margins. It was bitterly disappointing not to pick up points.”
Winger Gray took off his shirt to reveal a T-shirt with the words ‘For Khun Vichai’ – he was booked by referee Lee Probert.
The entire Leicester team celebrated with Schmeichel running the length of the pitch to join in
Cardiff had started brightly and were the better team for 20 minutes or so, but Leicester’s Premier experience started to shine through.
The home team simply could not win possession or, when they did, keep it for long enough to threaten.
Warnock’s Bluebirds worked, they battled, but did not have the quality to deny a club who were Premier League champions not too long ago.
Leicester players fly to Thailand this evening to be present at the funeral of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and Schmeichel said: “Eery player was keen to go. There was no pressure from the club, we we all wanted to be present.”
Victor Camarasa fired against the bar from a free-kick with the score at 1-1, but there was no doubt in my mind that Leicester deserved to win.
Perhaps they dealt with the grief around this match better than home players. It must have affected both teams in different ways.
Leicester had 60 per cent possession over the 90 minutes, while even when Cardiff did have the ball they were unable to hurt their visitors.
This match was, in many ways, all about Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha. But Cardiff desperately needed a point or more and their players looked devastated when the final whistle blew after five minutes injury time.
I felt Leicester would struggle to deal with the emotions and perhaps, if Cardiff could have scored first, it may have turned out that way. But once Gray’s goal went in this was firmly in Leicester’s control.