The former owner of Watford Football Club and charity founder, Sir Jack Petchey, has died aged 98. Sir Jack died on Thursday at his home in east London, his foundation said. The businessman set up the Jack Petchey Foundation in 1999 to provide opportunities for young people across London and Essex through sport, science and art.

In a statement his foundation said “From humble beginnings, Sir Jack left school aged 13 without any qualifications. “Through his entrepreneurial spirit he became one of Britain’s most successful businessmen. This enabled him to achieve his ambition of giving young people the opportunities and confidence he lacked as a child. As he always told young people, ‘If you think you can, you can’.”

The foundation has invested more than £170 million into youth projects and it also provides grants to young people at youth organisations and secondary schools through the Jack Petchey Achievement Award Scheme.