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Hill-Wood steps down as Arsenal chief

Arsenal have appointed Sir Chips Keswick as their new chairman after Peter Hill-Wood stepped down from the role for health reasons.

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Hill-Wood suffered a heart attack last year, and the 77-year-old has subsequently decided to leave the role he had occupied for 31 years. Both his father and grandfather were also at the helm of the London club before him in a dynasty that ran back to 1927.

"This has been a difficult decision as Arsenal Football Club has been a huge part of my life," he told the club's official website. "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."

Kroenke added: "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 be ensuring we recognise his many contributions to the club in an appropriate way."

Keswick, a former director of the Bank of England and ex-chairman of Hambros Bank, has been on the Arsenal board since 2005.

"I am delighted that Sir Chips has agreed to become chairman," Kroenke said. "He has a well-respected track record in business 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."

Keswick - whose full name is Sir John Chippendale Lindley Keswick - added: "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."

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