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

Ellis had two spells in charge at Villa Park, firstly from 1968 to 1975 and then between 1982 and 2006, rejoining shortly after Villa's European Cup win.

He was born in Hooton, near Ellesmere Por,t and attended school at Love Street Secondary Modern in Chester.

According to Ellis, he attended trials for a football career with Tranmere Rovers as a youngster, but chose to pursue his interests in business rather than football. By the age of 40 he had become a millionaire by pioneering package holidays to Spain

Villa won the League Cup three times during his reign - in 1975, 1994 and 1996 - and were runners-up in the inaugural season of the Premier League in 1992-93.

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

It was during his absence, having been ousted from the board in 1979, that Aston Villa enjoyed its greatest period of success in modern times, winning the Football League title in 1981 and the European Cup in 1982.

Knighted in 2012 for charitable services, Ellis is survived by second wife Heidi and his three sons.

Sir Doug Ellis

A statement on Villa's official club website said: "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."

The club went on to confirm that a minute's silence will be held at Villa Park when the club resume Championship action against Swansea on October 20, for what will be Dean Smith's first game as manager. The players will also wear black armbands.

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.

He oversaw 15 different managerial reigns, from Tommy Cummings when he first took control to Martin O'Neill, which continued beyond his sale of the club to American businessman Randy Lerner in 2006.