Aston Villa chairman Doug Ellis has been appointed an OBE in the New Year Honours List.
Ellis first took charge at Villa Park 36 years ago and in two spells as chairman has worked with 13 managers.
Nicknamed "Deadly Doug" for his reputation for sacking coaches, the 80-year-old has endured a tempestuous relationship with the club's fans.
While the club remains financially stable, he has been accused of failing to invest sufficiently in new players.
Ellis, who had already built a successful travel business by selling flights to Spain, was originally invited to Villa by London financier Pat Matthews in 1968.
Shortly afterwards, Villa slipped into the old Third Division for the first time in their history.
Ellis stepped down as chairman in September 1975 and left the board in 1979, but by that time Villa were back in the top flight and had won the League Cup in 1973 and 1977.
A brief spell as a director at Wolves followed before Ellis returned to Villa Park as controlling shareholder in November 1982. He has been at the club ever since.
During his time away from Villa Park, manager Ron Saunders, who Ellis appointed in 1974, guided the team to the League Championship in 1981 and the European Cup the following season.
Villa lost their top-flight status in the mid-80s but under Graham Taylor the club enjoyed a revival, finishing as Division One runners-up in 1990.
But silverware has been at a premium in the last 20 years, with just League Cup victories in 1994 and 1996.
Many Villa fans want Ellis to resign
And Ellis, who also served for many years on the Football Association's International Committee, has often had to bear the brunt of supporters' frustrations.
He has been accused of failing to invest sufficiently in the transfer market and there have been repeated calls from supporters for him to step down.
Last year, Ellis, who relinquished the role of chief executive in April 2004, rejected a £30m takeover bid led by former Manchester City defender Ray Ranson.
And he has given no indication that his time at Villa will soon end despite being diagnosed with prostate cancer two years ago.