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Old 5th February 2012, 13:02   #1
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Default Forest owner Nigel Doughty found dead at home

Nottingham Forest owner Nigel Doughty found dead at home

Doughty was found in the gym of his house
Ed Miliband pays tribute to 'kind, generous man'

Press Association, Saturday 4 February 2012 19.52 GMT

The Nottingham Forest owner Nigel Doughty, who stepped down as the club's chairman in October after a decade in the role, has been found dead at his home in Lincolnshire.

Doughty, who was 54, was discovered in the gym at his home in Skillington on Saturday. He is believed to have died from natural causes and police said there were no suspicious circumstances. Nottingham Forest said in a statement: "It is with enormous sadness that we announce the death of the club's owner Nigel Doughty. The club would like to appeal for the privacy of Mr Doughty's family to be observed at this sad time."

A life-long Forest fan, Doughty saved them from administration when he paid 11m to take control in 1999, and invested almost 100m of his fortune in the club. During his chairmanship the club Forest won promotion back to the Championship in 2008, three years after their relegation, and, under manager Billy Davies, reached the play-offs in each of the past two seasons.

The businessman's time as chairman ended after the departure of the former England manager Steve McClaren, who had only 112 days in charge. Doughty, who said appointing McClaren was his decision and had been "a very poor one", was replaced in the role by the former Forest manager Frank Clark.

The Labour leader Ed Miliband paid tribute to Doughty, who was a high-profile party supporter, giving at least 3.5m to the party over the last seven years. He had also chaired a Small Business Taskforce late last year, making recommendations to Labour which are to be considered as part of the party's policy-making process.

Miliband said: "I am shocked and saddened I was with him only a week ago and he was full of life, enthusiasm and vigour. Nigel 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."

Gordon Brown said: 'Nigel Doughty will be remembered as a gentle giant, a good soft spoken man with a deep commitment to public service."

Forest's players also paid tribute. The forward Matt Derbyshire wrote on Twitter: "I can't believe the sad news, my thoughts go out to his family," while Garath McCleary said: "He has done so much for Forest, which was not always best appreciated. My thoughts are with his family."

Greg Clarke, the chairman of the Football League, said: "I'm hugely saddened to hear of Nigel's death. He has made an enormous contribution to Nottingham Forest and the Football League and will be greatly missed by us all."

The England cricketer Stuart Broad a Forest fan tweeted: "Very sad Nigel Doughty has died. Lovely man and did a huge amount for Forest. RIP"

When he resigned the chairmanship, Doughty reassured fans he planned to continue to provide financial backing for Forest which he said needed 12m annually to survive. Doughty said: "It has been my club for 50 years I have said on a number of occasions I have always been happy to support the club on a financial basis."

Forest, struggling in 23rd place in the Championship, are due to play at Derby County on Sunday.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King
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