Montpellier president Louis Nicollin dies

The larger-than-life character has passed away at the age of 74, the Ligue 1 club announced on Thursday

Montpellier president Louis Nicollin has died at the age of 74.

The club confirmed the passing of the maverick, who has been president of Montpellier since 1974, on Thursday.

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Nicollin - a beloved and colourful character who was known as Loulou - is widely reported to have suffered a heart attack while celebrating his birthday at a restaurant.

"It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of our President Louis Nicollin on Thursday 29 June," Montpellier posted on Twitter.

French footballers including Andre-Pierre Gignac and Anthony Knockaert were among those to pay tribute to Nicollin, who memorably dyed his hair orange and blue after Montpellier won a shock Ligue 1 title in the 2011-12 season.

"My favourite president, how sad, my thoughts are with Laurent Nicollin and his family," Gignac wrote on Twitter.

Knockaert posted: "How sad to learn of the death of a man like Loulou Nicollin ... Life is cruel #RIP #LEGEND."