It is with great sadness that former Villa chairman, Doug Ellis, has sadly passed away. Fans, old and young, remember Doug during his two spells as club chairman.
Referred to as “Deadly Doug” by some due to his rather controversial relationships with managers, Ellis was a popular figure at the club and remained a lifelong Villa fan, regularly attending games right up to his untimely death.
Ellis was appointed as chairman of Villa in 1968 and served for 7 years before stepping down, only to be re-appointed in 1982, after Villa achieved their greatest club success by winning the league and European Cup during his absence. He sold the club to American business Randy Lerner in 2006, a decision that was somewhat “forced” by unhappy fans who wanted a change in ownership for the club. Ellis became life president of the club.
Loved and hated by contrasting Villa fans throughout his many years at the club, it must be said that Doug loved our club and was a favorite amongst ex-players and some managers. In a statement by the club, it is said that he had “dedicated his life to Aston Villa”. Messages of mourning, tribute and appreciation have been pouring in from the likes of rival clubs Birmingham City and West Brom, as well as former Villa players and notable journalists.
In 2012, Ellis was knighted for his incredible contribution and service to charity. Many buildings in city of Birmingham are named after him, while the Doug Ellis Stand at Villa Park remains an iconic part of the stadium
I had the pleasure of meeting Doug Ellis on many occasions. He would always pull up to the grounds outside the players entrance, parading in his famous Rolls Royce with the number plate AV 1. A gentle character who gave his heart to Villa. He will be sadly missed by everyone who knew him.
Aged 94, he is survived by his wife Heidi and their two sons, Simon and Oliver. RIP…
By Taariq Bodiat