Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Former Aston Villa owner Sir Doug Ellis dies aged 94

Former chairman of Aston Villa Doug Ellis during the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and Aston Villa at Craven Cottage Former Aston Villa chairman Doug Ellis dies aged 94
Cassandra Castillo | 12 October, 2018, 17:27

Ellis had two spells as Villa chairman from 1968 to 1975 and 1982 until 2006.

Villa won the league in 1981 and the European Cup in 1982 with Ellis in charge.

A divisive and sometimes controversial figure, Ellis was nicknamed "Deadly Doug" by Jimmy Greaves after sacking numerous managers during his tenures as chairman.

That the club's longest-serving and most successful manager, Saunders, served most of his eight-year reign when Ellis was not on the board was, again, seen as no coincidence by many fans.

According to Ellis, he attended trials for a football career with Tranmere Rovers as a youngster, but chose to pursue his interests in business rather than football.

Certainly, many have craved for those days in the 12 years since his departure as the club racked up massive debts and were relegated under his American successor Randy Lerner.

Having reached millionaire status by the age of 40, by exploiting the huge new demand for package holidays to Spain, Ellis never lost the knack for making money, taking advantage of a relaxation in FA rules to begin paying himself a substantial salary in the 1980s and making an estimated £4m from a share flotation a decade later.

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The ex-Villa chairman, a father to three children, was knighted in 2012 for his services to charity.

Tributes have poured in for Ellis following the sad news of his passing.

Lee Hendrie, former Villa midfielder also tweeted a picture of Sir Doug.

The club went on to confirm that a minute's silence will be held at Villa Park when the club resume Championship action against Swansea on October 20, for what will be Dean Smith's first game as manager. The players will also wear black armbands.

Another added: "RIP the legend who saved our club, DOUG ELLIS". You LEGEND. Boyhood Villa Fan!

Ellis and his supporters maintained that staying debt free and building a strong stadium and infrastructure were great achievements, despite the lack of silverware. "Special man. Loved the Club", Sky Sports' Jim White said.

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