I have found myself raising a glass to Peter Hill-Wood after the announcement that he was stepping down from his role of Arsenal chairman.
For over half a century he has been a part of the Arsenal board, succeeding his father, Denis, in the chair in 1982. He continued a family connection with the club that stretches back over 80 years to his grandfather, Sir Samuel, who took over the chairmanship from Sir Henry Norris in 1929.
I know on occasion he would be quoted, more often than not in the Daily Star (no, I haven’t a clue either!), and would provoke a mixed response. I prefer to remember the steady hand on the tiller provided by his family, and his contribution to the move to Ashburton Grove.
As other Premier League clubs, one of them not far away, contemplate the funding of future developments, we are sitting pretty having utilised Peter’s banking contacts to secure the necessary on very favourable terms. How fitting that a man brought on to the board at that time, Sir Chips Keswick, succeeds his old Hambros colleague as chairman.
Removed from the human shield that the board has become in recent years, I hope Peter enjoys a long and healthy retirement. It is just a little sad for some of us old boys that another name that has been associated with the Club since before even we were around is no longer. A good chunk of what made Arsenal the club it has been for so long has moved on.
Thank you Peter.