Preston North End owner and prominent horse racing figure Trevor Hemmings has died at the age of 86.
Hemmings bought a controlling interest in Preston in June 2010 after the troubled Lancashire club had received a winding-up petition.
The leisure tycoon was also a leading racehorse owner, winning the Grand National on three occasions.
Preston released a short statement on Monday evening to confirm Hemmings, who lived on the Isle of Man, had died.
“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,” it read.
“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.”
Hemmings saw his green, yellow and white colours carried to victory in the Grand National at Aintree by Hedgehunter (2005), Ballabriggs (2011) and Many Clouds (2015).
Cloth Cap, named after his favourite headwear, was favourite for the 2021 race but was unable to give him a record fourth triumph.
He won the Hennessy Gold Cup with Trabolgan and his Cheltenham Festival successes included two Ryanair Chase wins for Albertas Run. He also owned eventing horses ridden by Zara Tindall.
Hemmings was born in Woolwich, London, where his father worked at the Royal Ordnance factory.
After moving to Lancashire, he began work as a bricklayer’s apprentice upon leaving school at 15.
He twice owned holiday camp chain Pontins and was the owner of the Blackpool Tower for a time before selling to the town’s council in March 2010.
A director at Preston in the 1970s, Hemmings completed the takeover of the club in 2010 after his Deepdale PNE company acquired 51% of the shares, having initially held 28%.
In 2011, he was appointed a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) for his work as vice-president of the Princess Royal Trust for Carers.
Hemmings is survived by his wife, Eve, and their four children.