'It is with enormous sadness that Nottingham Forest announce the death of the club's owner Nigel Doughty,' the club said in a statement.
As a Forest fan, Doughty's dream was to guide the club back into the Premier League. During his 10 years at the City Ground, the club won promotion back to the Championship in 2008, three years after their relegation. Under manager Billy Davies, the Reds reached the play-offs in each of the last two seasons.
Fans have been quick to show their appreciation for all that Doughty has done.
Former Forest striker Stan Collymore said: 'Nottingham Forest owner Nigel Doughty has sadly passed away today. Condolences to his family and friends I'm sure from everyone at nffc.'
England cricketer Stuart Broad - a Forest fan - tweeted: 'Very sad Nigel Doughty has died. Lovely man and did a huge amount for Forest. RIP'
Golfer Lee Westwood, born in nearby Worksop, tweeted: 'Terrible news to hear that the Forest chairman Nigel Doughty has died.'
Doughty had led a Small Business Taskforce which made recommendations to Labour late last year which are to be considered as part of the party's policy-making process.
Labour leader Ed Miliband said: 'I am shocked and saddened to hear of Nigel Doughty's death. I was with him only a week ago and he was full of life, enthusiasm and vigour.
'He was a kind, generous man with a deep desire to make the world a better place. My heart goes out to his wife Lucy and his children. We mourn his death deeply and will sorely miss him.'
Ordinary fans have swamped the message boards with support and condolenses for his family who have asked the media for privacy at this sad time. A post-mortum will reveal the cause of death in a few days.
At the club, Garath McCleary said: 'He has done so much for Forest, which was not always best appreciated. My thoughts are with his family."
Team-mate Matt Derbyshire added: 'I can't believe the sad news, my thoughts go out to his family.'
Forest, who are fighting to avoid relegation, take on east Midlands rivals Derby in the Championship at Pride Park on Sunday.
Life-long Forest fan Doughty stepped down as chairman in October after a decade in the job following the sacking of former England manager Steve McClaren. He was replaced in the role by former Forest player and manager Frank Clark.
Everyone connected with Footballtradedirectory.com offers their sympathy to his family and friends at this sad time.