Preston North End owner Trevor Hemmings has died at the age of 86, it was announced on Monday night.
Hemmings owned North End outright from the summer of 2010 but his involvement at Deepdale went back to the early 1970s when he joined the board of directors.
A statement released by PNE read: “Preston North End Football Club can sadly confirm the devastating news that its owner Trevor Hemmings CVO has passed away this evening 11th October 2021.
“A further statement will be made in the coming days but in the meantime his family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult time.”
Over the years he made regular cash injections into North End to keep the club financially stable, clearing outstanding debt to outside parties.
Since buying the club, share issues – his favoured way of investing – has totalled around £37m.
He was a major figure on the horse racing circuit, owning three Grand National winners – Hedgehunter in 2005, Ballabriggs in 2011 and Many Clouds in 2015.
Born in Woolwich, London, Hemmings moved to Lancashire as a youngster with his family and settled in the Leyland area.
Hemmings made his fortune in the building trade and twice owned holiday camp chain Pontin’s.
His business empire included housing and the hospitality sector. For a time he was owner of Blackpool Tower and the Winter Gardens.
In recent years Hemmings had been based in the Isle of Man, controlling his business interests from there.
He attended most of North End’s home games until the pandemic and over the last few months had re-started his regular visits to PNE’s training ground at Euxton.
According to the latest Sunday Times Rich List published in May this year, Hemmings was worth £1.115 billion – a gain of £90 million compared to 2020.
Hemmings was heavily involved in charitable organisations.
A project close to his heart was Rainbow House, a conductive education centre in Mawdsley, near Chorley, which supports children with disabilities.