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LONDON (Reuters) - Mervyn King, who headed the Bank of England as the country suffered one of its biggest-ever economic downturns, is about to take his turnaround skills to another ailing institution: soccer club Aston Villa.
King slashed interest rates and printed money in a desperate bid to prop up the economy during his 10 years as governor of the Bank from 2003 to 2013.
Aston Villa count Prime Minister David Cameron and Prince William among fans. The club are languishing at the bottom of the Premier League and look set for relegation.
A life-long supporter, King will join the board of the Birmingham-based club which are owned by American Randy Lerner.
"Mervyn successfully steered the Bank of England through the most turbulent economic headwinds in living memory and his appointment to the board is a huge boost as we plan our path back to more successful times," Chairman Steve Hollis said.
King said in a statement he watched his first match at Villa Park more than 55 years ago and had experienced the highs and the lows since then.
Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Stephen Addison