TRIBUTES have been paid to the owner of Nottingham Forest, Nigel Doughty, who died at his home in Skillington last Saturday.
Mr Doughty, 54, was a multi-millionaire who made his fortune through private equity firm Doughty Hanson before purchasing Nottingham Forest and pumping almost £100 million of his own money into the club.
His love and generosity towards Nottingham Forest has been well documented this week but those who knew him said he was also more than generous towards his home village of Skillington, where he has lived for more than ten years.
Simon Buckingham of Middle Street, Skillington, said: “It’s a real shock. He was a very nice chap and was very well-respected in the village.
“He used to always have parties at Christmas and in the summer and he would invite many of the people in the village.
“He’ll be a miss to Skillington because he was a character and you always noticed him because he was so big - he was about 6’ 6”.”
A neighbour, who asked not to be named, said Mr Doughty often helped out in the village.
He said: “He was a lovely man and very charitable.
“Most of the time the family kept themselves to themselves but he was very charitable to the village.”
South Kesteven District Councillor Ian Selby got to know Mr Doughty through their shared connections with the Labour Party.
Coun Selby said: “Nigel was a staunch supporter of the Labour Party and although he was a most wealthy man, he never forgot about the people who are the least well off in society.
“He was a very tall man, but he never spoke down to you. I am though thankful that I had the pleasure of knowing such wonderful man.”
Coun Selby recalled how Mr Doughty’s love of Nottingham Forest was made obvious to any visitors to his Skillington home.
He explained: “As well as being a kind and generous man who was very supportive of local good causes, he was passionate about Nottingham Forest FC.
“In Nigel’s garden is a hedge of the Forest logo and with Nigel’s sense of humour this meant that his superb gardener, who is a Derby County fan, had to trim the hedge.”
An inquest into the death of Mr Doughty was opened on Wednesday
Coroner’s officer Colin Allerston told the inquest at Lincoln that only an hour earlier Mr Doughty had appeared “fit and well”.
Mr Allerston said: “He informed family members he was going to a gym area in an annexe. He appeared fit and well and no concern for his welfare was raised. Just before 1.15pm he was found by family members collapsed and lifeless in the gym.
The emergency services were called but there were no suspicious circumstances.
Mr Allerston said: “The patient appeared to have suffered a natural event, collapsed, and was subsequently confirmed to be dead.”