The club would like to confirm Ben Riley has decided to step down from his role as chairman with Ross Gregory taking over on a full-time basis with immediate effect.
Ben, who has served as chairman since June 2020, will continue to support the club in a commercial role.
Ben took over the responsibility of the day-to-day running of the club during a period of uncertainty due to a global pandemic and now leaves the role with the club in a great financial position.
He said: “This has not been an easy decision as it’s been a great experience for me personally but moving forward the job requires someone with more time and this isn’t a luxury I now have with my family and work commitments.
“I’ve got to know some great people who I’m pleased to call friends so will be very much staying involved by driving the commercial team to generate the necessary funds to continue to help the club grow in a sustainable manner.
“We are building something very special here which will take time, but I and the committee are in it for the long haul. I will now hand over the day-to-day running of the club to the new chairman Ross Gregory who with his experience and love for the club will be an outstanding successor.
“Thank you to everyone who has supported me on this journey you know who you are and finally good luck to Lee, his coaching staff, and the players for the rest of the season. UP THE LANG JACKS.”
During Ben’s chairmanship, the club have gone from strength to strength across several areas over the last two and a half years.
Apart from being financially stable, the club’s youth section has increased significantly with 11 youth teams as well as our U23 team now operating.
Ben has also overseen the club’s highest-ever league finish as well as setting up Whickham’s first-ever girls’ team.
Ross Gregory, who will succeed Ben as the club’s new chairman, has been associated with the club in different roles for 20 years.
Ross said: “Ben has left big shoes to fill. The club has been transformed under his chairmanship – we come out of a pandemic intact, had our highest-ever league finish, grown our junior section by 300% and are well on our way to becoming a real community club.
“I’m delighted Ben will be staying on as Commercial Director. His support, friendship and knowledge will be invaluable to me personally and the club in moving forward.
“We have a fantastic committee who all contribute so much and I’m looking forward to working closely with them, as well as Lee and his new management team, to help achieve our goals over the next few years.”
The club would also like to place on record our sincere thanks to Dan Bewicke for his tireless work having recently left his position as vice chairman.
Ross added: “I’d also like to thank Dan Bewicke, who recently stepped down as vice chairman, for his commitment and contribution over the years, particularly with his work on the junior section.”