Ron Gordon: Hibs owner dies at age of 68

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The family of Hibs majority shareholder Ron Gordon have vowed to “continue to work to deliver his long-term vision and plan for the club” after his death at the age of 68.

The US-based businessman, who took control of the club in 2019, passed away on Tuesday morning, just two weeks after he revealed that he was undergoing treatment for cancer. Ownership of the club will pass to the Gordon's family. His son Ian is employed by Hibs as head of recruitment.

In a statement released by the club on Tuesday afternoon, chief executive Ben Kensell asked for his family’s privacy to be respected and stressed that they would continue to “deliver Ron’s long-term vision and plan for the club”.

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Kensell said: “Everyone at the club is deeply saddened at the news. Our thoughts are with Ron’s wife Kit, his sons Ian and Colin, and the rest of the Gordon family. Ron may have been our chairman and owner, but he was first and foremost a devoted family man with a close and loving family. We would ask that at this difficult time, the family’s privacy is respected as they mourn their loss.”

The club statement continued: “Ron had a passion for football and through Hibernian FC his dream, commitment and love came to the fore, whilst always ensuring the club became the best version of itself to leave a lasting legacy. The Gordon family are determined to see this through. Ben stressed the family’s commitment to continue to work to deliver Ron’s long-term vision and plan for the club, with the support of the board and the senior executive.

Kensell added: “As part of that determination, we will hold our AGM in early March. There will be no further comment from the club or family at this time.”

Tributes have been coming in for Gordon, who was the club’s executive chairman and majority shareholder following his takeover in July 2019. Hibs TV commentator Cliff Pike posted: “Such sad news about Ron Gordon. An absolute gentleman who quickly got what Hibs are about and only ever had the club’s best interests at heart. He will be sorely missed at Easter Road but his memory will live on. May he rest in peace with the angels high above.”

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Hibs majority shareholder Ron Gordon has died at the age of 68. Picture: Mark Scates / SNSHibs majority shareholder Ron Gordon has died at the age of 68. Picture: Mark Scates / SNS
Hibs majority shareholder Ron Gordon has died at the age of 68. Picture: Mark Scates / SNS

Hibs women manager Dean Gibson added: “Devastated with the news about Ron. A genuine nice man who was caring and loving beyond words. The first time I met Ron, he introduced himself to me. That conversation, then led to him making a lot of dreams become reality. All thoughts with Kit, Ian and Colin. RIP Ron Gordon.”

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said: “Everyone at the SPFL is shocked at this devastating news. Ron was one of the most decent, hard-working, straightforward and enthusiastic figures in our game.

“It was clear that Hibs very quickly became far, far more than a business venture for Ron – his obvious pride in being its custodian and his unstinting dedication to the club were the clearest evidence of how much he loved being involved in Hibernian FC.

“In only a few years, he benefitted Scottish football more widely as he gave selflessly of his time and his very considerable array of talents. On a personal level, the superb work he did to help drive forward the SPFL Strategy Review was of enormous benefit. He will be very sadly missed across the entire game.”

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Murdoch Maclennan, chairman of the SPFL, said: “Everyone who dealt with Ron could see immediately that he was a man of enormous integrity, energy and vision. Having already achieved so much in his business life, he was an incredible force for good at Hibernian FC and in his role on the SPFL board. He believed fervently in teamwork and driving towards a common cause and was genuinely committed to the betterment of the entire game.

“The thoughts and condolences of everyone at the SPFL go out to Ron’s family and his many friends and colleagues at Hibernian FC at this very difficult time.”

Edinburgh rivals Hearts posted: "The thoughts of everyone at Heart of Midlothian are with Ron’s family, friends and colleagues across the city at this desperately sad time."

Celtic paid tribute, saying: "Everyone at Celtic Football Club would like to share our sincere condolences. The thoughts and prayers of everyone at the Club are with Ron's family, friends and everyone at Hibernian FC at this extremely sad time. RIP, Ron."

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Rangers said: “Rangers Football Club is deeply saddened to hear the news of the untimely death of Hibernian Executive Chairman, Ronald J Gordon. We offer our deepest condolences to Ronald’s family, loved-ones and all at Hibernian FC this difficult time."

Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack added: “Devastated to hear of Ron Gordon’s passing. Ron cared about our game. His drive, creativity & personal investment to make the Scottish game better was laudable. His enthusiasm was infectious. One of the good guys. Taken too early. I’ll miss you my friend… RIP”.