Tony Hewitt: Northampton Saints chairman to step down at end of season

Tony Hewitt
Tony Hewitt's Northampton Saints are eighth in the Premiership table

Northampton Saints chairman Tony Hewitt will step down at the end of the season after four years in the job.

The 68-year-old has been involved with Saints for nearly 30 years, and will remain on the board as a director in a non-executive capacity.

Former Northampton player John White, who has been Hewitt's deputy since 2013, will take over as chairman.

Hewitt's announcement comes a week after chief executive Allan Robson said he would also retire.

"When I first took the job I said I'd do it for two to three years. I'm now at the end of my fourth year, so I think the time is right," said Hewitt.

"We've also got a new chief executive starting and I think that'll be a great time for a new chairman to work alongside a new chief executive, to really tackle the challenging issues going forward."

Former Warwickshire chief executive Colin Povey will become deputy chairman following White's move to chairman.

Hewitt took over the role in 2013 from Leon Barwell, who died following an 18-month battle with cancer.

Barwell had succeeded his father Keith, who was influential in Saints' move into the professional game in 1995, and Hewitt paid tribute to the Barwell family.

Keith Barwell and Jim Mallinder
Keith Barwell (left) and Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder hold the 2014 Premiership trophy

"We always say we wouldn't be where we are if the Barwells hadn't been there, so it was a really, really sad time in 2013," he told BBC Radio Northampton.

"Leon asked me to take over the chairmanship, which I did. In memory of Leon we went on and won that memorable Premiership in 2014.

"That [is a highlight] and the following season - for us to end the season as number one in the Premiership for the first time, and then in 2016 to complete the Barwell Stand to complete the bowl at Franklin's Gardens."

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