DAVID Sheepshanks is the new President of Suffolk FA.
The former Ipswich Town FC Chair succeeds Gordon Blake, who passed away last November at the age of 88.
David, who was approached by Suffolk FA Chief Executive Richard Neal about the role, was formally elected by the Suffolk FA Council in accordance with the Articles of Association.
He said: “It is an immense honour. When Richard got in touch and asked if I would be open to the idea it didn’t take me more than a split second to say ‘yes’ I would be delighted, but with one caveat and that is I am still quite time poor.
“I work on a portfolio of various different things, so it doesn’t leave me much spare time, so I have to manage expectations in that respect.
“I will devote whatever support and energy I can give to Suffolk FA, but this is an honorary role and not an executive role.
“I hope I can bring some presence to the role and that I can help and be in background for Phil (Lawler, Suffolk FA Chair), Richard and all the team here.
“I am accessible and I think most people who know me will say that I am fairly approachable and if I think I can help or they think I can help I am always here.
“I am going to be quite limited in what I can do in practice, but I will try to attend meetings and the odd match when I can, but it will be quite limited so I just want to be clear about that and manage expectations in that respect.”
David Sheepshanks (left) is welcomed as the new President by Suffolk FA Chief Executive Richard Neal (right) at the county's headquarters in Stowmarket
David, who was awarded the CBE in 2013 for his services to football business and local charity, has also served as a Deputy Lieutenant of Suffolk since 2005.
He said he has ‘big shoes’ to fill in succeeding former president Gordon Blake.
“It was so sad to hear. I obviously met Gordon Blake early on in my career at Portman Road and had an immense respect for him. He was an extraordinary man in what he did for Suffolk sport, not only Suffolk FA but Suffolk tennis as well.
“He was a very humble man and a very committed and passionate man about Suffolk, so I have big shoes to fill,” he said.
After being elected to the Ipswich Town FC Board in 1987, David was appointed as Chair in 1995 – a position he held until 2009.
David, who was appointed Chair of the Football League in 1997 for two years, was the founding Chair of St George’s Park, the National Football Centre in Burton-Upon-Trent, from 2008-2015.
His current roles include as Chair of the FA Technical Advisory Board (at St George’s Park), a Leadership/Performance Coach with Vistage, Consultant to Argent Related and Regional Chair for Coutts Bank in East Anglia.
Suffolk FA Chair Phil Lawler said: “I am delighted to welcome David to Suffolk FA.
“David’s vast experience and knowledge at the highest levels of the game will be a huge asset and support to the County Association.
“We all at Suffolk FA look forward to working with David as his time permits and thank him for accepting the nomination.”
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