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Former Newcastle United chairman Freddy Shepherd passes away, aged 76

Former Newcastle United chairman Freddy Shepherd passes away at the age of 76, his family have announced.

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.

Mike Ashley eventually gained control of the North-East giants after Shepherd - who was responsible for taking legendary forward Alan Shearer to the club - sold his shares in 2007.

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.

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Football pundit Alan Shearer attends the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards at ExCeL on December 16, 2012
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