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The sad news reaching Pies today is that Sir Doug Ellis, a man synonymous with Aston Villa, has passed away at the age of 94.

Having made his money in the package holiday racket, Ellis bought himself Villa football club, aged 44, in late 1968.

He went on to chair the club for over 30 years over two separate spells, having been ousted from the board in 1979 only to return in 1982. He then spent the next 24 years at the helm before retiring in 2006 and selling up to Randy Lerner, earning “Life President” status in the process.

“Deadly Doug” had a reputation (and corresponding nickname) for being quick to can under-performing managers, hiring and firing 16 different souls during his tenure(s), but he also kept a steady ship for the most part.

Here’s a small collection of archive images from his first stint at Villa.

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British entrepreneur Doug Ellis parks up his Rolls Royce and stands outside his new football club, 1969

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Aston Villa chairman Doug Ellis cocks a nonchalant elbow while standing alongside Villa manager Tommy Docherty, 1970

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Champagne flows as Doug Ellis celebrates with the Aston Villa players following the Third Division side’s shock 3-2 aggregate win over Manchester United in the League Cup semi-final, 1970

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Aston Villa chairman Doug Ellis and his wife Heidi (right) pose with Villa manager Ron Saunders (left) and his wife Breda at a celebratory dinner after Villa’s win over Norwich City in the League Cup final at Wembley, 1975.

Villa also won promotion to the First Division in the same season.

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Aston Villa captain Ian Ross poses sheepishly alongside chairman Doug Ellis (right) after receiving a gold disc for the team’s pop song ‘We’re Going Up’.

In case you’re curious…

Jaunty, if a little repetitive.

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Doug Ellis takes to the rostrum at an Extraordinary General Meeting called in attempt to remove three members of the Aston Villa board, 1979

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Doug Ellis relaxes at home after finally being removed from the Aston Villa board himself, 1979

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Doug Ellis gives us a wave as he returns to Villa Park and the club’s board of directors, 1982

RIP Doug Ellis (1924-2018)