Whelan, who set up the sports chain in 1971, sold the 29% stake to a joint venture formed by Icelandic financial group Exista and Chris Ronnie, who has previously worked at Umbro and Sports World owner Sports Direct.
JJB said Whelan, 70, was no longer executive director of the company and would cease to be involved in the operations of the business going forward but had been appointed honorary life president in recognition of his contribution to JJB.
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