Former Newcastle United chairman Freddy Shepherd has died. A family statement published by the Newcastle Chronicle on Tuesday afternoon read:
"Freddy Shepherd, former chairman of Newcastle United and chairman of Shepherd Offshore Group and Triple S Sports & Entertainment Group, sadly passed away peacefully at his home last night."
Pictured: Shepherd successfully brought Michael Owen to Newcastle in 2005.
Shepherd was famed for his transfer dealings and brought, among others, players like Faustino Asprilla and Alan Shearer to St James' Park. In the years that followed he also attempted to arrange ambitious deals for Ronaldinho and Wayne Rooney.
When Shearer signed for Newcastle in 1996 the £15m fee set a new world transfer record.
Taking to Twitter as news of Shepherd's passing broke, Shearer said, "So sad to hear my great friend and former Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd has passed away. I owe him a huge debt for bringing me home."
Shepherd arrived at Newcastle to work with long-time business associate Sir John Hall. He gradually increased his stake in the club over time, but sold up in 2007 soon after Mike Ashley had bought Hall out of the club.