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Newcastle mourns Freddie Fletcher

Newcastle paid tribute to former chief executive Freddie Fletcher on Tuesday following his death at the age of 71.

Fletcher died Monday night following a battle against cancer.

During his time with the club, the Scot helped to drag the Magpies back from the brink of liquidation and re-establish them in the top tier of English soccer during the 1990s.

"He had great enthusiasm, knowledge and football expertise and he also played a key role in bringing the likes of Alan Shearer, David Ginola and Faustino Asprilla to the club," a Newcastle spokesman said. "Our thoughts in this time of sorrow are with his family."

Fletcher was diagnosed with an asbestos-related cancer earlier this year.

He was a staunch supporter of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, set up by the former Magpies boss to help fund cancer research, and Sir Bobby's widow, Lady Elsie, expressed her gratitude for his help.

"Freddie was a great help and played a key role in the charity's launch. He was always passionate and enthusiastic about the charity and I'm grateful to him," she said.

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