Arsenal Football Club has announced that Sir Chips Keswick has been appointed chairman.

It follows the decision by Peter Hill-Wood to stand down from the board for health reasons. Mr Hill-Wood, who has been Arsenal chairman since 1982, is recovering after a heart attack last year.

I am greatly honoured to have been appointed chairman... This is one of the great clubs in the game, recognised and loved by millions

Sir Chips Keswick

Mr Hill-Wood's grandfather, Sir Samuel, and father, Denis, were the Club's previous chairmen in a period stretching back to 1927.

Mr Hill-Wood, 77, said: “This has been a difficult decision as Arsenal Football Club has been a huge part of my life. 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. I know Sir Chips is the right person to take the Club forward.”

Mr Hill-Wood joined the board in 1962 when his father became chairman. Since then he has been at the heart of all the Club’s major decisions, including the move from Highbury to Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal’s majority owner Mr Kroenke said: “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 recognise his many contributions to the Club in an appropriate way.”

A lifelong fan, Sir Chips, 73, has been on the Arsenal board since 2005. He is the former chairman of Hambros Bank and a director of the Bank of England. In his role as chairman, Sir Chips will work directly with Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis on the Club’s football and business ambitions.

This has been a difficult decision as Arsenal has been a huge part of my life. Although I am feeling better I feel this is the right time for me to stand down

Peter Hill-Wood

Mr Kroenke said: “I am delighted that Sir Chips has agreed to become chairman. He is a well respected businessman and he will provide further direction and support in our ambition to compete at the top of the game here and in Europe and to win trophies.”

Sir Chips said of his appointment: “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.”

Peter Hill-Wood
Peter Hill-Wood

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 14 Jun 2013