EDDIE Davies, the man who helped build Wanderers’ Premier League dream, has passed away at the age of 72, his family have confirmed.

The former Farnworth Grammar School pupil, born in Little Lever, was on a break in Portugal with his wife, Sue.

After making his fortune in thermostats and kettle parts he invested millions into his home-town club, transforming their fortunes and enabling them to sign world class talents such as Nicolas Anelka, Youri Djorkaeff, Bruno Ngotty and Jay Jay Okocha.

A self-made millionaire as executive chairman of the Strix Group, he remains the single biggest benefactor in Bolton Wanderers' history.

A statement released by the family’s solicitor read: “It is with great sadness that Sue Davies and family announce the death of Eddie Davies CBE today, 11th September. Eddie passed away during the night whilst on holiday in Portugal. The family would be grateful if their privacy could be respected at this time.”

Davies became a non-executive director of Wanderers in 1999, the same year Sam Allardyce became manager, and then served as Wanderers owner for 13 years, gaining a 94.5 per cent stake in the club in December 2003.

The father-of-two was appointed alongside Nat Lofthouse as the club's life president when he handed over control in March 2016 to Ken Anderson and Dean Holdsworth. At the time he wiped off £171million of loans to the club and left in £15m.

He continued to attend matches, home and away, and provided advice to the current ownership.

Outside of football, Davies lived in the Isle of Man and became a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) for charitable services in 2011.

A keen collector of paintings and artwork, The Edwin and Susan Davies Galleries at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London are named in his honour.

In 1996 he underwent a heart bypass operation and later donated £100,000 towards a new coronary care unit at the Royal Bolton Hospital.