Newcastle - Former
Newcastle chairperson Freddy Shepherd, a pivotal figure in the club's
1990s success, has died aged 76, his family announced on Tuesday.
Shepherd was Newcastle chairperson for 10 years from 1997 and eventually sold his share of the club to current owner Mike Ashley.
"Freddy Shepherd sadly passed away peacefully at his home last night," his family said in a statement.
"At this difficult time the family have asked that their privacy be respected."
Tyneside-born Shepherd became a Newcastle director in 1992 and served
as vice-chairman to John Hall as the club finished Premier League
runners-up in both 1996 and 1997.
Shepherd played a key role in the appointment of Kevin Keegan as
manager in the early 1990s, a move that helped transform the then
struggling second tier side into a top-flight force.
Under Keegan's management, Newcastle went toe to toe with Manchester
United in the Premier League title race before losing out to Alex
Shepherd was also influential in signing England striker Alan Shearer
from Blackburn for a then world-record £15 million in 1996, as well as
the successful appointment of Bobby Robson as manager.
"So sad to hear my great friend and former NUFC chairman Freddy
Shepherd has passed away. I owe him a huge debt for bringing me home,"