Chester FC have confirmed club legend Grenville Millington has resigned as chairman and as a board member of City Fans United. The Chronicle will be looking back at his tenure and considering what this means for the Blues. What are your thoughts on the news? Tweet us @ChesterFC_Chron.
That’s the end of our live coverage but we’ll have plenty more on Grenville Millington standing down as Chester FC chairman throughout the afternoon.
Thanks for reading and here’s a couple of links to our coverage so far:
On a personal level, I’m saddened at Grenville’s resignation. I’ve put together some thoughts here:
Infectious. That’s the word that best sums up Grenville Millington. His enthusiasm, energy and excitement when we spoke about the club was contagious. For me, he was the perfect choice to take up the reins last October. Grenville gave the club a figurehead, respected and adored, and an approachable one too. He commanded respect for his achievements on the pitch, but more so through his disposition off the field. He treated everyone the same and had no agenda. Grenville became chairman because he cares about the club and he wanted to make a difference. He was open, honest, genuine, passionate.
Every phone conversation I had with him followed the same pattern. I’d ask about a particular topic or with a specific question, he’d answer as best he could but we’d soon digress. The next thing I know we’ve been talking for 15 minutes about something else and I’d attempt to wind the conversation down with Gren telling me ‘you’re trying to get off the phone now but I can talk about the club all day’ and it was true. He could have because it’s been his life for the best part of 35 years and I sincerely hope it will remain so.
Gren in his prime
Just had a quick scout of YouTube and stumbled upon this video of Grenville in action for Chester against Huddersfield during the 1980-81 season. He pulled off some cracking saves to earn the Blues a point in West Yorkshire.
More reaction from Deva Chat
Here’s a couple more posts on fans’ forum Deva Chat about Grenville’s departure:
What a shock. I can’t believe it. An inspirational man and so much of his passion showed through last Thursday evening at the AGM. Good luck Grenville and thanks so much for all you have done for us.
All the very best Grenville, thank you for your hard work.
'Sad to see Gren go'
Here’s another comment on Twitter:
Grenville's life outside football
Work commitments is the reason given for Grenville deciding to step down as chairman and it’s sometimes easy to forget that he, and the rest of the board, have other pressures to contend with, be that work, family or something else.
One of Grenville’s favourite phrases was ‘put the club first, others second and yourself third’ but the reality is that other things become more important than football.
Grenville spoke to The Chronicle at the start of this year about his work with Cheshire and Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company.
One of the true greats
Grenville’s association with the club stretches back to the late 1960s and let’s hope that this isn’t the end.
He made his first-team debut back in 1969 but was then released and dropped into non-league. He returned to Chester in 1973 and over the next 10 years amassed more than 300 games.
Even after retirement he retained a strong connection with the club in numerous guises: goalkeeping coach, supporter, chairman of the Former Players’ Association, vice president and latterly chairman.
He’s a true Chester legend, without doubt.
Gren at his best
In May 2010, hundreds of fans packed into the Guildhall the official launch of Chester FC.
One of the most memorable parts of the night was the speech Grenville gave in which he rubbished the idea the reformed club was not a continuation of Chester City. Putting £20 people had given him earlier that night on the top table, he demonstrated his belief in the supporter-owned model.
Somebody said that we haven’t got a past, but we actually have because you’re not taking my 345 games away from me.
I’m putting in on this table because I can give it to anyone of them in the full knowledge they’re going to spend it to the football club. Unfortunately it’s not 200 quid or two million but, listen, if it had haven been I would have still done the same thing in the true knowledge that these guys would spend it how we all want them to spend it.
Deva Chat reaction
Supporters are talking about Grenville’s resignation on fans’ forum Deva Chat. Here’s a selection of the comments:
Where as it’s a shame to hear Grenville stepping down, as he is a legend of the club, and he has to be thanked for his time, I have always had concerns about his ability to hold people, such as the manager, to account. As a cheerleader and promoter of the club, he has done a super job. Someone needs to step into the role who has the ability to have the tough conversations that are needed to move this club forwards.
His passion for the club is without question but we need someone to come in now and make some tough decisions on and off the field as we are currently at a crossroads.
Thanks for the service and hard work Gren. For me the club needs a motivator now, someone with a real backbone to shape the future of the club.
Timeline of his Grenville Millington's tenure as chairman
Dave Powell has compiled a timeline of Grenville’s spell as chairman highlighting some of the his milestones and achievements. It includes his appointment, the new lease, a contract extension for Steve Burr, the #ReclaimTheGame initiative and lots more.
Prepared to go the extra mile
The Chronicle reported in September how Grenville had been ringing fans whose CFU memberships have lapsed in an attempt to boost numbers. He explained:
We seemed to have lost a few CFU members and I wondered why so I asked Mike Day, one of the directors, to produce a list of lapsed members that hadn’t signed up, and there were 300 and something of them.
The reception I got was utterly fantastic. We’ve had about 30-odd sign up since last week as a result and I’m hoping to get through my list and hopefully we can get another 100 or so signed up again.
That was an example of his commitment to the club and his determination to help the Blues. You can read that story in full here.
Here’s a few posts on Twitter relating to Grenville’s departure:
What will you remember most about Grenville’s tenure as chairman? In the space of 14 months he and the club have accomplished plenty.
The most significant was securing a 50-year lease on the Deva Stadium with Cheshire West and Chester Council. Grenville said at the time it was a ‘very important milestone’.
'Proud and honoured'
Grenville took over as chairman in October 2014 and spoke to The Chronicle at the time about his appointment. He told us he was ‘proud and honoured’ to take on the role
I have been involved with the club for a long time since I was a young boy but never imagined I would be chairman.
I work across the road from the club and I tell people that whenever I pass the ground I can hear a noise and that’s the thumping heart of Chester FC and I want to get that heart beating louder and faster.
'Tough act to follow'
Dave Powell, part of The Chronicle’s sports team and a lifelong Chester fan, believes Grenville deserves plenty of plaudits for the work he has undertaken as chairman.
In football the word legend is bandied around all to freely for my liking. But it is a term that is fully deserving of Grenville Millington and what he has done for Chester FC through the years. Honest as the day is long and with a deep-rooted passion and love for the Blues, he served the club with distinction both on and off the field.
He has done admirably in his time as chairman, playing a part in securing Steve Burr’s longer term future with the club and a 50-year-lease on the stadium. Despite having to contend with balancing a job with the probation service away from football, Millington still found the time to go beyond the call of duty in his role as chairman, even personally ringing round fans whose CFU memberships had lapsed. The next person in the role has a tough act to follow.
Thank you Gren
Grenville’s fellow club directors and City Fans United members have expressed their thanks to him.
As vice chairman, Jim Keegan will assume the role of chairman on an interim basis. The board are due to meet again on December 16 and a new chairman should be elected at that meeting.
Last week four new directors were elected to the board at the City Fans United AGM and Grenville’s departure means there are now nine directors so one of those can be expected to take on the role.
The existing directors were Neil Bellis, Brian Burns, Mike Day, Jim Keegan and John Reddy. The four new directors are Johnny Hughes, Laurence Kirby, Simon Olorenshaw and Anne Salmon,
Directors 'shock' at departure
The club announced Grenville’s decision at noon and have issued a statement from the board, in which his fellow directors expressed their shock at his decision but paid tribute to his ‘unwavering passion and commitment’.
Grenville Millington resigns as chairman
So the third chairman since the club was reformed in 2010 has gone. Grenville works full-time for the probation service and has cited that as the reason for his departure.
Grenville Millington resigns
Big news from Chester FC this afternoon as the club confirms chairman Grenville Millington has stepped down with immediate effect. The Chronicle will be running a live blog through lunchtime to look at his departure in more detail, reflect on his time in charge and what happens next.
We want to know your thoughts on the news too so please get in touch via @ChesterFC_Chron on Twitter.