Graham Wood is returning for a second spell as chairman of Hampton & Richmond Borough.  

He heads a consortium that includes Jacques Le Bars, godson of the late club president Alan Simpson, who died this year, who will be vice-chairman.

They have the backing of the supporters’ trust and existing directors and will set out to maintain the club’s competitive position in National League South.  

Manager Alan Dowson has also confirmed he will remain at the Beveree, to try to improve on the team’s seventh-place finish, which was enough to lift them into the play-offs. They were beaten 4-2 on aggregate by promoted Ebbsfleet United in the semi-finals.

The changes follow the decision of Steve McPherson to step down after nine years as chairman.

Wood, who is returning after a spell in charge of Gateshead in the National League, said: “We would like to thank Steve for his leadership and hard work to get Hampton back into the upper reaches of National League South.

“It’s great for him to go out on a high at the end of a very successful first season back and we can only hope we maintain the same momentum.

“Hampton is a close-knit family and, in this regard, it is wonderful that Jacques has agreed to join the board. I’m sure Alan Simpson would have been happy to see his involvement.

“Steve McPherson has a number of projects he wishes to pursue outside the club and can no longer devote the time he would wish.

“It was a logical step to hand on the baton at this time. The club finds itself in a much stronger position than when Steve took over in 2008, and the record of a league championship and three play-off appearances will be hard to match.”

Wood is already well known to Hampton followers as the chairman who brought Alan Devonshire to the club before moving back to his native North East, to steer Gateshead to National League North promotion and, shortly after, a place in the Wembley Promotion Final.

They were denied a return to the Football League by Cambridge United.

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