Villa faith­ful say fi­nal farewell to El­lis

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Premier League -

Foot­ball paid its re­spects at the fu­neral of for­mer Aston Villa chair­man Sir Doug El­lis yes­ter­day.

El­lis, who died last month aged 94, had two spells in charge at Villa Park, from 1968 to 1975, and 1982 to 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 run­ner­sup in the in­au­gu­ral sea­son of the Pre­mier League in 1992-93.

Fans lined the route of the fu­neral cortege, which drove around Villa Park, past the Sir Doug El­lis Stand, be­fore head­ing to a pri­vate cer­e­mony at Aston Parish Church.

The lead car had an Aston Villa flag on the bon­net, with El­lis’s pale blue Rolls-royce, regis­tra­tion plate “AV1”, fol­low­ing be­hind.

For­mer Eng­land cap­tain Bryan Robson, who started his ca­reer at West Brom be­fore mov­ing to Manch­ester United and who would later re­turn to the Hawthorns as man­ager, was among those at the ser­vice. Also in at­ten­dance were for­mer play­ers David Platt, Andy Townsend and Ian Tay­lor.

As part of the or­der of ser­vice, for­mer di­rec­tor Tony Hales and broad­caster Nick Owen both paid trib­ute to El­lis, as did David Dein, the for­mer vice-chair­man at Arse­nal and the Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion.

Knighted in 2012 for char­i­ta­ble ser­vices, El­lis is sur­vived by sec­ond wife, Heidi, and his three sons.

Pay­ing re­spect: Bryan Robson was among those at the fu­neral ser­vice

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