Kind-hearted ex-Aston Villa owner ‘Deadly Doug’ Ellis left part of £16m fortune to Spanish housekeeper and Birmingham sports clubs

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    FORMER Aston Villa owner Doug Ellis left his £16.5million fortune to THIRTY-FOUR recipients — including his Spanish housekeeper.

    Ellis, who was fondly known as ‘Deadly Doug’ and had two spells as chairman at Villa Park, passed away in October last year at the age of 94.

    Ex-Aston Villa owner Doug Ellis left his £16m fortune to 34 beneficiaries
    PA:Press Association

    Ex-Aston Villa owner Doug Ellis left his £16m fortune to 34 beneficiaries[/caption]

    Among the beneficiaries of the will was Ellis’ housekeeper, a Spaniard called Maria, who received £5,000 from the big-hearted businessman.

    Ellis gave £10,000 to Villa’s long-serving club secretary, Sharon Barnhurst, and set up a trust fund for his widow, Heidi, which pays £150,000 a year.

    Their son, Oliver, will receive capital from the trust, while Ellis also left his share of the family home in Sutton Coldfields to Heidi.

    His legacy in Birmingham will remain after leaving £2,000 to a tennis club and £2,000 to a snooker club to provide a Doug Ellis Cup for each.

    Ellis made his millions after setting up a travel agency which provided package holidays.

    He held the position of Aston Villa chairman for the first time from 1968 to 1975, and then took over again in 1982.

    Ellis stepped down due to ill-health in 2006 when he sold the club to American Randy Lerner for around £63m.

    'Deadly Doug' rebuilt most of Villa Park which now has The Doug Ellis Stand
    ‘Deadly Doug’ rebuilt most of Villa Park which now has The Doug Ellis Stand
    PA:Empics Sport
    Ellis pictured at Villa Park for a Premier League game against Tottenham in 2016
    Ellis pictured at Villa Park for a Premier League game against Tottenham in 2016
    Reuters


    Most of Villa Park was rebuilt by Ellis whose name has been immortalised with ‘The Doug Ellis Stand’.

    His generosity was already well-known after he donated more than £1m to the University of Birmingham School and Institute of Translational Medicine.

    The university now has a ‘Doug Ellis Sports Centre’.

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