Former Crystal Palace chairman Ron Noades has passed away at the age of 76 following a battle with cancer.
Noades guided Palace to the most successful spell in their history before departing the club after 17 years following the controversial sale to Mark Goldberg in 1998.
He then took over as chairman at Brentford and attracted widespread criticism when he appointed himself as first-team manager.
But he defied the doubters as he led the Bees to the Division Three title in the 1998/99 season, earning him the Manager of the Year award.
Noades relinquished both roles in 2000, and he sold his majority shareholding in Brentford to supporters group Bees United six years later with his loans into the club repaid by current owner Matthew Benham a year later.
But he will be mainly remembered for his role as Palace chairman, overseeing an extended period of success under Steve Coppell's management.
The Eagles won promotion to the old Division One in 1989 and reached the FA Cup final the following season after edging out Liverpool in one of the most memorable semi-finals in the competition's history.
Palace were just seven minutes from victory over Manchester United in a thrilling final, but Mark Hughes equalised to force a replay and Lee Martin's solitary strike proved enough to snatch the Cup five days later.
Coppell then guided the team to third place in Division One the following season, although they were denied a place in Europe due to the UEFA ban on English clubs at the time.
They did at least lift some silverware when they won the Zenith Data Systems Cup after beating Everton at Wembley, and they finished 10th in the 1991/92 season to ensure a place in the inaugural Premier League.
Palace were relegated despite accumulating 49 points, but they bounced straight back to win the First Division title the following season under new manager Alan Smith.
Noades was at the helm for one further relegation and promotion before parting with the club after their disastrous 1997/98 campaign, which ended with Noades as caretaker-manager.
Noades held several other business interests including a group of golf courses, and he announced that he had been diagnosed with cancer last year.
A Palace statement read: "The club are saddened to learn of the passing of former club Chairman, Ron Noades.
"Ron, 76, was diagnosed with lung cancer just over a year ago and has received chemotherapy, brain radiotherapy and radiotherapy.
"He had surgery to remove a tumour behind his heart but the treatment had a severe effect on his lungs and a brave battle against the illness sadly ended in the early hours of Christmas Eve.
"The thoughts and deepest sympathies of everyone at Crystal Palace Football Club are with his wife Novello and their family at this very sad time."
Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said: "I am sure I speak for everyone involved with the Premier League, past and present, when I express our sadness at hearing of the passing of Ron Noades after his brave fight against lung cancer.
"Success has many fathers, but Ron's role in the history the Premier League was fundamental to its formation and the foundations of what it has become today.
"Our sympathy and best wishes are with his family."