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Former Aston Villa chairman Sir Doug Ellis dies aged 94

Former Aston Villa chairman Sir Doug Ellis dies aged 94

Sir Doug Ellis, Aston Villa chairman for 31 years, has died aged 94.

Ellis’ family informed the Birmingham Mail that one of the pioneering chairman of the Premier League era passed away in the night.

Ellis was chairman of Villa for two spells, first from 1968 to 1975, before returning to the club after their European Cup success in 1982 until retirement in 2006.

Sir Doug Ellis poses for a photoshoot with the Daily Mail shortly after his 2006 retirement

Ellis sits alongside Graham Taylor at his appointment as Villa manager in February 2002


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Ellis had an infamously frosty relationship with Villa fans but their fortunes have taken a turn for the worse since his departure.

He was nicknamed ‘Deadly Doug’ by Jimmy Greaves for his propensity to sack managers, with 15 coming and going during his 31 years at the club.

Villa won the League Cup three times during Ellis reign – in 1975, 1994 and 1996 – but he was not on the board for their European Cup win in 1982, returning as chairman shortly after following a seven-year absence.

Ellis’ lasting legacy at the club is the rebuilding work he did at Villa Park, with the Doug Ellis Stand on Witton Lane named in his honour.

Ellis unveils Billy McNeill as manager in 1986 – he lasted just one year at Villa Park

Ellis watches Man United v Aston Villa in 2016 with England manager Gareth Southgate (right)

Ellis made his money through a variety of industries including travel, construction and even cider making. At his height he owned 19 companies – 12 in the UK.

Ellis gave away fortunes to charity, earning him and OBE and later a knighthood.

Ellis leaves behind second wife Heidi and three sons. 


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