Tributes have been paid to former Norwich City chairman Robert Chase, after his death was announced.

Mr Chase, who was at the helm of the club in the 1980s and 1990s - the most successful period in its history - passed away on Friday, aged 84.

In a statement, his family said: "Robert, loving husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather passed away peacefully on March 3 after a short illness and with his family by his side.

"The family would like to thank all those we have passed on their condolences at this difficult time."

Mr Chase left a complex legacy from his time at the club, and his tenure ended in acrimony.

During this time in charge, he came under intense criticism, particularly over the sales of several of the club's key players - most notably Chris Sutton to Blackburn Rovers for a British transfer record fee of £5m.

But he is also remembered by fans for his acute business sense, which saw him purchase land around Carrow Road for the club - the sale of which made a huge difference to its financial stability.

The period also saw great success on the pitch, with the club reaching two FA Cup semi-finals and achieving three top-five finishes in the top flight.

He took over as chairman of the club in 1985, succeeding Sir Arthur South after the entire Carrow Road boardroom resigned over the rebuilding of the main stand.

He would continue in this role for more than a decade, resigning in April 1996 amid widespread supporter protests over the sales of several players.

Eastern Daily Press: Norwich City chairman Robert Chase, right, and Chris Sutton attended an extraordinary press conference at Carrow Road in July 1994 Picture: Archant Library

His resignation came following a high-profile falling out with then-manager Martin O'Neill, who quit after Mr Chase refused to finance a move for forward Dean Windass.

Robin Sainty, chairman of the Canaries Trust supporters group, said: "At the time, I probably would have volunteered to drive him out of Norwich myself for all the player sales.

"But looking at things in retrospect, the land deals he made were probably the reason the club is still here today. 

"I think people will remember as much of the good as they do the bad.

"Nobody will forget him sitting and saying there was no way Chris Sutton would be sold, when he had already been.

"But at the same time, those land transactions are a big part of his legacy."

While chairman of Norwich City he was also an elected member of the Football Association and chairman of the Football League Referees' Committee.

Eastern Daily Press:

Away from football, Mr Chase was a successful builder and businessman, most recently serving as a director for Glenfield Real Estate.

He managed the family construction business from the early 1960s and for more than 40 years.

He lived in Halvergate Hall, near Acle, and had three children with his wife, Ruth, who he married in 1963.

The pair had three sons together, James, Paul and Daniel.

He also spent 14 years as a county councillor, four years as chairman of the Norfolk Police Authority and eight as vice chairman of the county's policy and resources sub-committee.

His career in politics also saw him serve in prominent roles in the local Conservative Party, including as a member of the executive council for the Great Yarmouth constituency.

Other Norfolk organisations Mr Chase played roles in include Acle High School, where he was chairman of governors, the Great Yarmouth and Waveney District Health Authority and the East Anglian Regional Health Authority.

He also spent more than a decade as a justice of the peace and was a former Port and Haven Commissioner at Great Yarmouth.