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Forest announces death of owner Nigel Doughty

Updated: February 04, 2012, 14:08


NOTTINGHAM, England(AP) Nigel Doughty, the owner of English club Nottingham Forest who rescued the two-time former European champion from financial turmoil, died on Saturday. He was 54.

Forest, which currently plays in the second tier of English football, released a statement saying Doughty was found dead in the gym at his home in Skillington, a village in the central-eastern county of Lincolnshire.

Doughty saved Forest from going into administration - a form of bankruptcy protection - by buying the club for 11 million pounds ($17.4 million) in 1999, and invested more than 100 million pounds ($160 million) of his money in an attempt to revive the team's fortunes.

Forest won the European Cup - the pre-cursor to the Champions League - in 1979 and 1980 under late manager Brian Clough but has been outside the Premier League since 1999.

English golfer Lee Westwood, who is a supporter of Forest, tweeted: "Terrible news to hear that the Forest chairman Nigel Doughty has died.''

Doughty also played an influential role in British politics, contributing to the Labour party's policy-making process.

"I am shocked and saddened to hear of Nigel Doughty's death. I was with him only a week ago and he was full of life, enthusiasm and vigor,'' Labour leader Ed Miliband said.

"He was a kind, generous man with a deep desire to make the world a better place. My heart goes out to his wife Lucy and his children. We mourn his death deeply and will sorely miss him.''

Doughty stepped down as chairman of Forest, the club he supported throughout his life, in October after a decade in the position.

The club has reached the second-tier League Championship playoffs for the past two seasons but failed to gain promotion to the top division.

"It is with enormous sadness that Nottingham Forest announce the death of the club's owner Nigel Doughty,'' the club's statement read.

"The club would like to appeal for the privacy of Mr. Doughty's family to be observed at this sad time.''

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