Freddy Shepherd’s star player Alan Shearer was among the first to pay tribute to the father-of-three after the news of his death.
Arguably one of Freddy’s greatest achievements at Newcastle United was bringing Shearer to Tyneside.
In 1995 the then-Blackburn Rovers star made history snubbing Man United for a move to his beloved St James’ Park where he was allowed to live his boyhood dream of wearing the No 9 shirt at Newcastle.
The £15m deal was dubbed the sale of the century after Shearer’s glorious performance for England at Euro ‘96.
And on Tuesday the BBC pundit spoke of his grief.
He said: “It’s incredibly sad news.
“He was very passionate, he loved his football, he loved Newcastle United. When he was chairman he was desperate for us to do well. It was his life. He loved every single minute of it.
“He was responsible for bringing me back home. He was the one that made it happen, he was the one twisting my arm to come back home. If it wasn’t for him, then I wouldn’t have come back home. I owe so much to him.”
Now a BBC pundit Shearer quickly became an icon on Tyneside and a hero to thousands of Geordie lads who grow up kicking a ball around the estates of Newcastle.
Shepherd told the Chronicle that the purchase of the former England captain was one of the best pound-for-pound signings in the club’s history.