Former Chairman of Arsenal Football club Peter Hill-Wood has passed away at the age of 82.
Hill-Wood joined the Arsenal board in 1962 before becoming chairman in 1982 – a position he held until June 2013, when illness forced him to step down.
Arsenal announced the death of their former chairman on their website on Friday.
The statement read: “Peter and his family’s influence on the club cannot be understated, but at this most difficult time for his family and friends, it is Peter the man who we remember with great fondness. Our thoughts are with his wife Sally and his children Sarah, Julian and Charles.”
The statement added: “As we celebrate the unique achievement of 100 consecutive years in the top flight this season, the Hill-Wood family were at the helm for the lion’s share of this special century, a testament to their tenacity and judgement in ensuring we have remained a significant force in English football for so long.”
Four years into his 31-year spell as chairman, Hill-Wood’s appointment of manager George Graham led to an upturn in the club’s fortunes.
Arsenal won two league titles, an FA Cup, two League Cups and a European Cup Winners’ Cup with Graham as boss, and Hill-Wood was then integral in bringing Arsene Wenger to London in 1996.
Together, Wenger and Hill-Wood celebrated three Premier League titles and four FA Cups, including two league-and-cup doubles in 1997-98 and 2001-02, as well as their ‘Invincibles’ league campaign in 2003-04.
Hill-Wood also played a key role in the Premier League’s formation in 1992, and also Arsenal’s move from Highbury to the Emirates in 2006.
Peter was the third Hill-Wood to have been Arsenal chairman – his grandfather, Sir Samuel Hill-Wood, assumed the role from 1927 until 1936.
Denis Hill-Wood, Peter’s father, then took the reins from 1962 until his death in 1982.