JOE Youdan is stepping down as chairman of Chester RUFC after 12 successful years in the role.

The 64-year-old, who lives just a few hundred yards from the club’s Hare Lane ground, is standing aside as he feels it is time to let a ‘new generation’ fill his shoes.

But Youdan will remain on the Chester committee and will also continue to work as groundsman at Hare Lane.

He said: “I will still be involved in the future but there are so many young people taking part and joining the club that I thought it was time to let a new generation have a go.

“During my time at the club, I have seen it really develop and the youth section has produced the likes of Ben Foden, who has done brilliantly.”

Foden is the first player from the club to win full international honours with England.

The 25-year-old full-back won the Six Nations earlier this year and is expected to be a key player for England at the World Cup in New Zealand this autumn.

Youdan takes great pride from Foden’s emergence and he rates Chester’s EDF Intermediate Cup win at Twickenham in 2008 as another highlight of his tenure as chairman.

But there are so many great memories for Youdan, who has been involved with the club for a total of 16 years.

He said: “I met my wife at the club and my three daughters have been playing rugby from a young age. My son also plays but isn’t at the level of the girls and as we a family we are all pretty rugby-orientated.”

Looking to the future, Youdan is sure the club will continue to go from strength to strength.

“I expect we will do well in the future,” he said.

“We have a very young team and next year I think we will be much improved.”