TRIBUTES have been paid to a founding father of the Drumaville Consortium.
Patsy Byrne was at the heart of the group of mainly Irish businessmen who took over Sunderland AFC from then chairman Sir Bob Murray in summer 2006.
The businessman founded the Byrne Group construction firm which worked on projects such as the Olympic Stadium, the Emirates Stadium, Stamford Bridge and the new Centre and Number One Court at Wimbledon.
He was also a respected figure in the horse and greyhound racing circuit.
Sunderland AFC chief executive Margaret Byrne said: “Everyone at the club was very upset to hear the news of Patsy’s death this morning.
“He was a true gentleman – genuinely kind, with a generous spirit and all of those who knew him will remember his quick wit and mischievous sense of humour.
“He always had a good word to say about everyone and remained a great support to me personally and to the football club. He will be greatly missed by so many people.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Bridget and the Byrne family at this time.