SFA Chairman Peter Hockley has retired from the post after seven years in the post. The 135th AGM, the first to be held virtually, was the last act in Pete’s tenure, before he handed over the reins to his successor, Phil Chaplin. Phil paid warm tribute to Pete and his service too football in Somerset at the end of the meeting.
Pete became chair of the association in 2013 in succession to Alan Hobbs, having served as deputy Chair before that and been a member of the board since incorporation of the company in 1999. For the last 15 years he has also been the SFA representative on the Football Association Council, during which time he has travelled countless miles and spent many hours on FA business.
He has served on the SFA Council since 1981, during which he has served on many committees, a number of them as Chair or Deputy Chair, and is a Life Member of the Association. He is also a Life Vice president of the Association. Prior to his life membership, Peter represented the Yeovil and District League on Council where he served in numerous positions before rising to become the Leagues’ Chair; perhaps most importantly of all he was, and remains, a member of Milborne Port FC.
After seven years as SFA chair where he has seen us through our establishment at the county Headquarters Charles Lewin House, the growing use of technology within the game and most recently, the coronavirus shutdown for football. Peter will be stepping down to enjoy retirement, he has been retired from work for many years but his numerous positions and service to Somerset FA means he has been anything but inactive.
Chief Executive Jon Pike said, “Pete Hockley has been a great service to football in Somerset and the Somerset FA. Over the last 40 years he has served on council in almost every role before eventually becoming our chair, I would like to thank him for everything he has done for the game in our county. He has been an excellent leader of our county and all of the staff will miss him. We wish him and his wife Janet a long, happy, restful (and very deserved) retirement and our thanks for all he has done for Somerset FA.”
Phil Chaplin is the new Chairman of Somerset FA. Phil was elected to the post at the 135th SFA AGM on 13th August in succession to Pete Hockley. He becomes only the 7th chairman in the 135 year history of the association.
Although born and raised in Somerset Phil his professional life led him to live in Sussex, where he worked in IT, where he established 2 successful companies, providing mainly business analysis and project management services. His football career was very much at the ‘parks’ end of the grassroots game, where as a player-manager he was elected onto the Crawley League management committee as a club rep, later becoming assistant secretary, then deputy chair and eventually chairman.
Phil was also elected onto the Sussex County FA, serving as a Council member for 16 years, 14 of those as a Board director and the last 7 as Deputy Chair. He chaired their Sanction Committee for 14 years.
When Phil moved back home to Somerset he was co-opted onto the disciplinary committee to make use of his skills as an independent member of the committee; this led him to be co-opted onto SFA Council and then the Board. For the last few years Phil has served as deputy Chair of the Association. With no league or club affiliation, Phil is the first Independent Chairman of Somerset FA. Phil will also serve in Pete’s old post of Somerset FA Representative on the FA Council after being nominated by the SFA Council in the spring.
Phil takes the helm at a difficult time for football as we continue to endure the coronavirus pandemic. In his first council meeting as chair he told members of his top priorities in the coming months:
- The recovery from Covid-19 for both clubs and leagues
- Governance changes for the association
- Facilities, including 3g pitch facilities for Somerset FA
We all wish Phil a successful tenure as chair and wish him the very best of luck in his new role.