FORMER Middlesbrough Football Club chairman and leading North-East property developer Charles Amer has died at the age of 100.

Mr Amer, who was also a well-known entertainer after being involved in the original Butlin's holiday camp in Skegness in the 1930s, died at the Marton Hotel and Country Club, which he owned.

He was a prominent figure throughout the North-East, but was perhaps best known for his controversial spell at the helm of Middlesbrough, which ended acrimoniously amid financial problems that contributed to the club's slide towards liquidation in the mid-1980s.

The club have so far failed to make an official comment on their former chairman's death.

Mr Amer joined the Boro board in October 1963 and became chairman in 1973, succeeding George Winney.

Jack Charlton was appointed manager the same summer, with Boro claiming the Second Division title in 1974, but star players began to depart soon after and Mr Amer was accused of financial impropriety relating to the building of a sports hall at Ayresome Park, claims he vehemently denied and that were the subject of a successful libel action against Private Eye magazine.

He resigned as chairman in February 1982 and was always bitterly disappointed at his perceived involvement in the financial problems that eventually led to Boro's liquidation in 1986.

In his autobiography, "Just For The Record", Mr Amer wrote: I still find that there is an undercurrent of prejudice in the Middlesbrough area which refused to accept the truth.

"Unfortunately for me, it appears that the name of Charles Amer will forever be synonymous with the financial demise of Middlesbrough FC, but I was a convenient and high-profile scapegoat."

Born in Grangetown in 1911, Mr Amer left Coatham Grammar School at 15 and started to work as an office boy in Dorman's wages department.

He joined the Territorial Army at 16 and played saxophone in a dance band called The Troubadours.

He soon had his own band and was running four others, and owned the Palais de Danse in Stockton.

He bought and redeveloped the Coatham Hotel in Redcar in the 1940s, establishing it as one of the country's top ballrooms, and began a successful property company that built more than 1,000 homes.

He bought Normanby Hall as his family home, sold the Coatham in 1963, and built Marton Hotel and Country Club. He also developed the York Hotel at Redcar and assumed a majority shareholding in the Tall Trees, near Yarm.

A widower, he leaves two sons, Philip and Kevan.