Former Palace owner Ron Noades dies

AFP| Updated: Dec 25, 2013, 22:36 PM IST

London: Former Crystal Palace owner and chairman Ron Noades has died aged 76 of lung cancer the club announced on Wednesday.

Noades ran Palace for 17 years -- during which they reached the 1990 FA Cup final and came third in the old First Division in 1991 -- and even had a spell as caretaker manager after the sacking of Italian Attilio Lombardo in 1998.

The turning point in the club`s fortunes came in 1984 when Noades hired former England winger Steve Coppell as manager and he took the club back into the top flight in 1989 after an eight-year absence.

A year later, a side featuring players such as future Arsenal star Ian Wright and present Newcastle manager Alan Pardew reached the FA Cup final -- beating Liverpool in an epic semi-final -- and lost to Manchester United after a replay.

The following season, the Eagles finished third in the First Division.

However, Noades also sowed the seeds of the break-up of the team when he made ill-judged remarks.

"The black players at this club lend the side a lot of skill and flair, but you also need white players in there to balance things up and give the team some brains and some common sense," he said in 1991.

This prompted several of the black players to leave and the club were relegated in the 1992/93 season, the first one in its present incarnation of the Premier League.

"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," said Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore.

"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."

Former players also paid tribute to him.

"Sad to hear Ron Noades has passed away, lovely man who cared deeply for the club," tweeted former England goalkeeper Nigel Martyn.

The club issued a statement also.

"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."

After selling Palace in 1998, Noades bought another London club Brentford and guided the club to the Third Division championship after becoming manager and later owned golf courses in the south-east of England.