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Peter Hill-Wood has stepped down from his role after as a board member for over half a century and is to be replaced by the former Bank of England director

Arsenal have confirmed Sir Chips Keswick as their new chairman following Peter Hill-Wood’s decision to stand down for health reasons.

Hill-Wood, who is recovering from the heart attack he suffered last year, took over as chairman from his father Denis in 1982 and had served as a member of the board for a total of 51 years.

“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," said Hill-Wood, whose grandfather Sir Samuel also served as Arsenal chairman in the 1920s.

"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."

Hill-Wood is succeeded by 73-year-old Sir Chips, a former chairman of Hambros Bank and a director of the Bank of England who has been a member of the Arsenal board for the last eight years.

He said: "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."

Arsenal majority shareholder Stan Kroenke added: !I am delighted that Sir Chips has agreed to become chairman. 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."

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