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Sir Doug Ellis: Former Aston Villa chairman dies aged 94

Sir Doug Ellis had a stand at Villa Park named after him in 1994

Former Aston Villa chairman Sir Doug Ellis has died at the age of 94.

Ellis had two spells as chairman of the West Midlands club, with the second one running from 1982 to 2006.

After selling the club to American businessman Randy Lerner, Ellis became life president.

When Villa were relegated from the Premier League in April 2016 he told the BBC he “could not be any sadder” and hoped to live to see them return to the top flight.

He attended Villa’s Championship play-off final defeat by Fulham at Wembley in May.

Ellis was knighted in 2012 for his services to charity and has buildings named after him at both Birmingham University and Aston University after making substantial donations to both institutions.

He made his money in the travel industry and during his time in football earned the nickname “Deadly Doug” because of his reputation for sacking managers who under-performed.

Across his 35 years as chairman he made 13 managerial appointments, including making Slovakian Jozef Venglos the first person from outside Britain and Ireland to manage a top-flight club in England in 1990.

Sir Doug Ellis appointed Graham Taylor as Aston Villa manager twice – in 1987 and 2002

In a statement, the club said they were deeply saddened to learn of Ellis’ death and he had “dedicated his life to Aston Villa”.