Malcolm Glazer
Malcolm Glazer had been in poor health since suffering a stroke in 2006Reuters

Manchester United owner Malcolm Glazer has passed way at the age of 85.

The news was announced on the official website of NFL side Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are also under the ownership of the Glazer family.

"The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are saddened to announce the passing of Owner/President Malcolm Glazer earlier this morning at the age of 85," read a statement in the club's official website.

Although Glazer's £790 million takeover of Manchester United in May 2005 was bitterly opposed by the fans (as the takeover left the club with a £500m-plus debt), the Red Devils went on to win five Premier League titles as well as the Champions League under his ownership.

"The thoughts of everyone at Manchester United are with the Glazer family tonight following the news that Malcolm Glazer has passed away. Staff at Manchester United extend deep and sincere condolences to them all at this difficult time," read a statement in Manchester United's official website.

Glazer's sons Joel and Avram were appointed as Manchester United's joint chairman after the American billionaire suffered a stroke, which impaired his speech and mobility in his right arm and leg, in April 2006

The Glazer family control 90 percent of the shares at United, while the other 10 percent is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Glazer's takeover of Manchester United was funded by loans that were secured by mortgaging the club's assets. This move made the Glazer's very unpopular in the eyes of the fans as the club went into heavy debt.

"It would be inappropriate for me to make any comment about the death of Malcolm Glazer as I didn't know him or his family personally. However, as a supporter, I am aware of the detrimental effect the Glazers have had on the football club and the huge debt that has been placed on Manchester United," said Manchester United Supporters' Trust vice-chair Sean Bones.

Meanwhile, Glazer was very popular in his other franchise the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who won the Super Bowl in 2002 following his takeover in 1995. "Malcolm's commitment to the Bucs, the NFL and the people of the Tampa Bay region are the hallmarks of his legacy," said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

Glazer, who was born in Rochester, New York, started building his fortune after he took over his family's watch-parts business in 1943. He steadily started investing in other ventures and soon managed to acquire many organisations including Zapata Corporation, Formica, Harley Davidson, First Allied, Tonka, Specialty Equipment, Houlihan's Restaurant Chain and Omega Protein.

Glazer is surived by his wife Linda, six childern and 14 grandchildren.

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