Doug El­lis, former As­ton Villa chair­man, dies aged 94

The Guardian Australia - - Sport - Guardian sport

Sir Doug El­lis, the former As­ton Villa chair­man, has died at the age of 94, the club has an­nounced.

El­lis was chair­man and ma­jor share­holder of the Mid­lands club over two sep­a­rate spells, firstly from 1968 to 1975. The mil­lion­aire en­tre­pre­neur, who made his for­tune in pack­age hol­i­days, re­turned to the post in 1982 when the club were Euro­pean Cup hold­ers, hav­ing been Foot­ball League cham­pi­ons for the 1980-81 sea­son.

His sec­ond spell ended in 2006 when he was bought out by Amer­i­can bil­lion­aire Randy Lerner. The man­ager at that time, Martin O’Neill, was the 15th that had served un­der El­lis with Gra­ham Tay­lor serv­ing two tenures. Dur­ing El­lis’s long stew­ard­ship, Villa won three League Cups, in 1977, 1994 and 1996, and were run­ners-up in the inau­gu­ral sea­son of the Premier League in 1992-93. He was knighted in the 2012 New Year’s hon­ours list for his charity work, and in 1994 the Wit­ton Lane stand of Villa Park was re­named in his hon­our to cel­e­brate his 70th birth­day. Fol­low­ing his £63m sale to Lerner, El­lis be­came life pres­i­dent of Villa. A club state­ment read: “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.” Villa play­ers will wear black arm­bands and a minute’s si­lence will be ob­served be­fore the club’s next home match with Swansea a week on Satur­day.

• More de­tails to fol­low …

Pho­to­graph: PA

Doug El­lis’s sec­ond spell at As­ton Villa ended in 2006.

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