TRIBUTES have been paid to the former chairman of Dorchester Town and AFC Bournemouth, Eddie Mitchell.

Mr Mitchell sadly died suddenly at the age of 69 on Saturday, February 17.

His family said he ‘unexpectedly passed away peacefully at home’ and that he was a ‘loving husband, father and grandfather’.

Paying tribute to Mr Mitchell, his family said: “He was one of a kind and lived his life to the full.

“Gone too soon but his legacy will remain through what he achieved in the world of property and Bournemouth football club.”

Dorset Echo:

Mitchell was known across Bournemouth and Poole for his work in the property business and for his ownership of the Cherries.

When he stepped down from this role in 2013, he was credited with ‘changing the face’ of Bournemouth.

He was chairman of the club between 2009 and 2013, after the club was taken over by a consortium including Eddie and Jeff Mostyn.

While chairman, the club rose from League Two to the Championship.

Mr Mitchell was also previously owner and chairman of Dorchester Town between 2007 and 2009 and was also involved in Poole Town.

He later relinquished control of the Magpies to his sons Tom and Josh, making them the youngest football club owners in the country at the time.

However, a conflict of interest occurred when Mr Mitchell became owner of Bournemouth and the sons later gave up their shareholding, eventually leading to Shaun Hearn becoming the Magpies' new owner in September 2009.

Outside of football, Mr Mitchell made his name in property, beginning as a hod carrier at the age of 16.

He built his first property in Sandbanks at the age of 24, his first on the peninsula, and went on to build more than 1,000 homes.

In 1992, Mitchell established Seven Developments, which became well known for its Thunderbirds House.

Latterly, he founded football skills equipment company, Elite Skills Arena, opening the UK’s first Technical Football Centre in Bournemouth.

The products were hugely successful, with the indoor football skills centre moving to Poole Retail Park during lockdown.

The equipment is used at St George’s Park, the headquarters of the England national football teams, with other professional teams, including Southampton FC, FC Barcelona and New York Red Bulls using it.

AFC Bournemouth said on social media: “AFC Bournemouth are saddened to learn of the passing of former owner and chairman Eddie Mitchell.”