Former Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood has died aged 82, according to a statement from the club.
Hill-Wood was appointed to Arsenal’s board in 1962 and was named chairman 20 years later after his father Denis passed way.
He subsequently presided over an extremely successful 31-year tenure in which he made a pair of instrumental managerial appointments in George Graham and Arsene Wenger.
Graham’s arrival resulted in two league titles and triumphs in the FA Cup, League Cup and European Cup Winners’ Cup.
After Bruce Rioch’s brief spell in replacing Graham, Hill-Wood made the decision to hire an unknown in Wenger, who went on to transform Arsenal into a Premier League powerhouse and become their longest-serving manager.
Wenger enjoyed nearly 22 years at the helm, winning three league titles – going unbeaten with his ‘Invincibles’ team in 2003-04 – and seven FA Cups while also leading the Gunners to the Champions League final in 2006, losing 2-1 to Barcelona.
An Arsenal statement on Hill-Wood’s passing read: “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 judgment in ensuring we have remained a significant force in English football for so long.
“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.”