Last Updated: 11/10/18 8:27pm
Gareth Southgate has described Sir Doug Ellis as “a fantastic custodian” for Aston Villa following his death on Thursday.
The former Aston Villa owner, who signed Southgate from Crystal Palace in 1995, passed away at the age of 94.
In a statement paying tribute to Ellis, Aston Villa said: “There’s no question that Sir Doug dedicated his life to Aston Villa.”
And speaking ahead of England’s Nations League clash in Croatia, Southgate paid his own personal tribute in memory of Ellis.
“It’s very sad,” the England manager said. “He’s had a good innings at 94.
“He was a brilliant chairman from a player’s perspective, I think it was slightly hard work for some of the managers, but brilliant as a player.
“The day I signed for Villa he took me for dinner with Brian Little and then I stayed at his house rather than going all the way back to London. He made me welcome right from the start.
“He was hugely passionate about the club. If you look at his period charge, not only were we competitive in the top six but the club owned their own training ground – a fantastic training ground – and had no debt when he sold it on.
“He was a fantastic custodian for the club.”
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