Guardian sport on 11 October 2018
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. Having lost his seat on Villa’s board in 1979, the millionaire entrepreneur, who made his fortune in package holidays, returned to the post of chairman 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 two League Cups, in 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.