The family of Freddy Shepherd have announced that the former Newcastle United chairman has passed away at the age of 76.
Shepherd played a key role behind the scenes at St James' Park as the Magpies secured promotion to the Premier League before famously launching a challenge for the top-flight crown alongside Manchester United.
A statement 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.
"At this difficult time the family have asked that their privacy be respected."
Shearer has led the tributes to Shepherd, who managed to see off Man United in completing the then world-record signing of the Geordie.
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. 😰😰RIP— Alan Shearer (@alanshearer) 26 September 2017