Millwall owner John Berylson has died in a “tragic accident”, the football club has announced.
The Championship team confirmed the news in a statement on Twitter on Tuesday night but did not release any further details about the 70-year-old’s death.
The American businessman became involved with the club in 2006 and became a significant shareholder in 2007.
He is survived by his wife Amy and his three children, Jennifer, James and Elizabeth.
“It is with a collective broken heart and the deepest of regret that we announce the passing of our beloved owner and chairman, John Berylson,” Millwall said in a statement.
“John’s sudden and tragic passing will unquestionably impact all those who were fortunate to have known him. He was a truly great man, incredibly devoted to his family, and a person of such remarkable generosity, warmth, and kindness.
“He lived a storied life, one full of colour and joy, and was infinitely thoughtful of others with an endless desire to share his immense knowledge and experiences to help people.”
Berylson replaced Stewart Till as Millwall chairman in 2007 and oversaw two promotions to the Championship.
Millwall finished eighth in this year’s league, just missing out on a play-off place on the final day.
The club’s statement said: “Under John’s passionate leadership and guidance, Millwall has enjoyed tremendous success and stability.
“Since first becoming involved in the club in 2006, he has presided over some of the greatest moments in Millwall’s history, and his influence in providing the platform for those was immeasurable.
“John continued to speak eagerly about the new season and his vision for the future, and any success moving forward will be in his memory and honour. It will be his legacy.
“John revelled in the club’s underdog status and mentality. He related strongly to such values and identity and adored Millwall supporters.
“He was fiercely loyal to all his staff, and both they and the fan base will miss him beyond measure.”
Tributes poured in from the footballing world following Berylson’s death.
The English Football League tweeted: “The EFL is shocked and saddened by the news and sends its deepest condolences to John’s family and everyone connected with Millwall.”
Former Millwall defender Alan Dunne, who made almost 350 appearances for the club, also posted a tribute.
“My deepest condolences to not only my Chairman for many years but also friend,” Dunne said on Twitter.
“John was a gentleman who put Millwall back on the map. What he has done for the club will always be remembered and can only thank him for everything he done for me and MILLWALL. Rip JB.”
Millwall fans can pay their respects in a book of condolences at The Den stadium from 11am on Wednesday.