Lord Sugar pays tribute to former Aston Villa chairman Doug Ellis

Sir Doug Ellis split opinion at Villa but always had the club in his heart

Villa were relegated in 1987, five years after winning the European Cup and early in Ellis's second period in charge, but with Graham Taylor in charge they were back at the first time of asking.

The sad news of his death came just hours after the appointment of Dean Smith as head coach, alongside John Terry.

A divisive and sometimes controversial figure, Ellis was nicknamed "Deadly Doug" by Jimmy Greaves after sacking numerous managers during his tenures as chairman.

The entrepreneur had a short career as a footballer, with Ellis spending two years as a schoolboy at Tranmere Rovers. There's no question that Sir Doug dedicated his life to Aston Villa. Our...

Having reached millionaire status by the age of 40, by exploiting the huge new demand for package holidays to Spain, Ellis never lost the knack for making money, taking advantage of a relaxation in FA rules to begin paying himself a substantial salary in the 1980s and making an estimated £4m from a share flotation a decade later.

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

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The ex-Villa chairman, a father to three children, was knighted in 2012 for his services to charity.

Ex-Tottenham chairman Lord Sugar paid tribute to Ellis this afternoon, with a post on social media.

A minute's silence will take place at Villa Park next Saturday before the club's match with Swansea City and the players will also wear black armbands.

Recounting some of the threats he received, Ellis said: "We had threats to kidnap the kids and there were many threats to 'execute" me, usually by telephone.

Ellis' lasting legacy at the club is the rebuilding work he did at Villa Park, with the Doug Ellis Stand on Witton Lane now bearing his name. You LEGEND. Boyhood Villa Fan!

"He had a wonderful love hate relationship with the fans, but he always did what he thought was best for the club he loved to the end. RIP Doug Ellis. #AVFC", added another supporter.

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