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5 February 2012, 09:35
Labour leader Ed Miliband led the tributes to ``kind and generous'' Nottingham Forest owner Nigel Doughty after his death at the age of 54.
Doughty was found dead in the gym of his Lincolnshire home, the npower Championship club confirmed in a statement yesterday.
Doughty, who saved the Reds from administration when he bought the club for £11million in 1999, led a Small Business Taskforce which made recommendations to Labour late last year which will be considered as part of the party's policy-making process.
Miliband spoke of his shock after hearing the news and wrote on social networking site Twitter: "I am shocked and saddened to hear of Nigel Doughty's death. I was with him only a week ago and he was full of life, enthusiasm and vigour. He 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.''
Forest confirmed the news of Doughty's death in a statement:
It is with enormous sadness that Nottingham Forest announce the death of the club's owner Nigel Doughty. Mr Doughty, who was 54, was found dead earlier today in his gym at his home in Skillington, Lincolnshire. The club would like to appeal for the privacy of Mr Doughty's family to be observed at this sad time. The club will be making no further comment.
Alastair Campbell, the former Downing Street communications chief under Tony Blair posted on Twitter: "Cannot believe the news about Nigel Doughty. Spoke to him Tuesday and he seemed really well. Great friend of Labour and of football. RIP.''
During his 10 years at the City Ground, the club won promotion back to the Championship in 2008, three years after their relegation.
Under manager Billy Davies, the Reds reached the play-offs in each of the last two seasons.
Forward Garath McCleary praised Doughty for the work he did, saying: "He has done so much for Forest, which was not always best appreciated. My thoughts are with his family.''
Former Forest striker and television and radio pundit Stan Collymore said: "Nottingham Forest owner Nigel Doughty has sadly passed away today. Condolences to his family and friends I'm sure from everyone at #nffc.''
Doughty Hanson & Co, the company of which Doughty was a co-founder, issued a statement on Saturday evening, which said: "On behalf of Dick Hanson, and all the management and staff of Doughty Hanson, we are tremendously sorry to learn of the death of Nigel Doughty at home this afternoon. Our thoughts are very much with his family at this time.''
Derby County have also released a statement, saying they were saddened to learn of Nigel's death.
Derby County Chief Executive Tom Glick said: "It is extremely sad to learn of the passing of Nigel Doughty and the deepest condolences of everyone connected with Derby County Football Club go to his family and friends at this very difficult time."
"I had the pleasure of Nigel's company on various occasions over the course of the last four years and his love and passion for Nottingham Forest shone through every single time."
Derby County manager Nigel Clough said: "We are shocked and saddened to learn of this news and our hearts go out to the family of Nigel Doughty. There was absolutely no doubting his commitment and passion for Nottingham Forest throughout his time as owner and he will be deeply missed."