Kay Bernstein's appointment as Hertha Berlin president was hailed as a win against commercialisation. Maja Hitij/Getty Images

Hertha Berlin president Kay Bernstein, a former ultra fan who surprisingly took over the presidency in 2022, has died at the age of 43, the club said in a statement on Tuesday.

Bernstein was a longtime ultra supporter and his presidential election win -- a first for Bundesliga clubs -- was hailed across Germany as a win for fans against the commercialisation of the sport.

"Hertha BSC are mourning the death of Kay Bernstein. The club received the terrible news on Tuesday that president Kay Bernstein has passed away unexpectedly aged 43," the club said.

"The whole club, its governing bodies and staff members are shocked and deeply saddened by the news. The whole Hertha family is mourning the passing of Kay and are thinking of his family and friends."

Hertha, who were relegated from the Bundesliga last season, are seventh in the standings in the second tier of the league.