Newcastle have paid tribute to former chief executive Freddie Fletcher following his death at the age of 71.
Fletcher died last night following a battle against cancer.
During his time with the club, the Scot helped to drag the Magpies back from the brink of liquidation and re-establish them in the top tier of English football during the 1990s.
A Newcastle spokesman said: “Newcastle United were very saddened to hear the news of the death of former chief executive Freddie Fletcher after a brave fight against cancer.
“Freddie did great things for the club in the 1990s, especially in the early days of the Premier League, and helped re-establish the club in the top echelons of English football.
“He had great enthusiasm, knowledge and football expertise and he also played a key role in bringing the likes of Alan Shearer, David Ginola and Faustino Asprilla to the club.
“Our thoughts in this time of sorrow are with his family.”
Fletcher was diagnosed with an asbestos-related cancer earlier this year.
He was a staunch supporter of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, set up by the former Magpies boss to help fund cancer research, and Sir Bobby’s widow, Lady Elsie, expressed her gratitude for his help.
She said: “I was very sad to hear the news about Freddie.
“He was a good friend of ours and when we set up the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, he was one of the first people Bob approached for support.
“Freddie was a great help and played a key role in the charity’s launch. He was always passionate and enthusiastic about the charity and I’m grateful to him.”