Former Aston Villa chairman Sir Doug Ellis has died at the age of 94, the Championship club have confirmed.
Ellis had two spells in charge at Villa Park, firstly from 1968 to 1975 and then between 1982 and 2006, rejoining shortly after Villa’s European Cup win.
Villa won the League Cup three times during his reign – in 1975, 1994 and 1996 – and were runners-up in the inaugural season of the Premier League in 1992-93.
Knighted in 2012 for charitable services, Ellis is survived by second wife Heidi and his three sons.
Brian Little was Villa’s manager when they won at Wembley in 1996 and led the tributes on social media.
“I was always taught to speak as you find,” he said on Twitter.
“To me you were fantastic. R.I.P Sir Doug. El Presidente.”
Ellis allowed Stan Collymore to sign for his boyhood club, paying Liverpool £7million for his services in 1997.
“Extremely sad to hear Doug Ellis has passed away today,” he tweeted.
“Made it possible to fulfil my dream of playing for Villa, something I’ll be eternally grateful to him for.
“Rest in Peace, chairman, sincere gratitude from me and mine.”
A statement on Villa’s official club website said: “Aston Villa Football Club is deeply saddened to hear of the death of our former chairman Sir Doug Ellis.
“Our president emeritus passed away this morning. There’s no question that Sir Doug dedicated his life to Aston Villa.
“Our condolences go out to family and friends at this very sad time.”
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.
Like Collymore, Ian Taylor was a young Villa fan who went on to play for the club – in his case close to 300 times – under Ellis.
“No matter what people thought of Doug he played a massive part in our football club,” Taylor wrote on Twitter.
“He loved his football club and still attended until his last days. The man was Villa through and through and was always gracious with myself. RIP Sir Doug.”