Arsenal have confirmed that Peter Hill-Wood is stepping down as chairman of the club and will be replaced in the role by fellow board member Sir Chips Keswick.
In a statement on Arsenal.com, Hill-Wood, who suffered a heart attack earlier in the year, explained that despite having recovered he felt now is the right time to step down after 31-years at the helm.
“This has been a difficult decision as Arsenal Football Club has been a huge part of my life,” said the 77-year-old.
“Although I am feeling better I feel this is the right time for me to stand down. I would like to thank our majority owner, Stan Kroenke, for the respectful and dignified way he has handled this and I know Sir Chips is the right person to take the Club forward.”
Paying tribute to Hill-Wood’s custodianship majority shareholder Stan Kroenke stressed that the cigar-loving old-Etonian will be much missed around the boardroom table after more than 50 years of service:
“Peter has been a wonderful custodian of this Club. He has been a member of the Arsenal board for 51 years and his vision and steadfastness have been central to the successes of this great Club over that time. Peter will be sorely missed but we will ensure we recognise his many contributions to the Club in an appropriate way.”
New chairman Sir Chips, who is a director at the Bank of England (which should stand him in good stead at the Bank of England club) spoke of his pride at taking over from Hill-Wood, while also paying tribute to his close friend.
“Firstly, I am sad to see Peter standing down due to his health and we all hope he continues well in his recovery. The Hill-Wood family has made an extraordinary contribution to Arsenal over many decades. They have been central to the Club’s many achievements during this time.
“I am greatly honoured to have been appointed chairman of Arsenal Football Club. This is one of the great clubs in the game, recognised and loved by millions. I am looking forward to leading the Club to future success.”
Arseblog News wishes Peter Hill-Wood all the best for the future. The man certainly deserves his retirement having worked tirelessly for the club over the course of half a century.
We also extend a hearty high-five to Sir Chips, whose name will no doubt provide us with much fun punning in the future.