As announced on Monday, UK Sport's Chairman, Sir Rodney Walker, will stand down when his term of office expires in September. This will bring to an end nine years of work at the highest level of British sport.
Sir Rodney was appointed Chairman of UK Sport in July 1998, having previously been Chairman of the GB Sports Council (1994-95) and founder Chairman of Sport England (1995-98). His impressive background saw him receive the honour of Knight Bachelor for services to sport in June 1996.
Richard Callicott, Chief Executive of UK Sport, summed up the major role Sir Rodney has played in the development of the organisation, saying: "I am sure that I speak for all member of the UK Sports Council, staff and the wider sporting world in saying how sad I am that Sir Rodney Walker will be retiring as Chairman of UK Sport at the end of September after serving an unprecedented nine years as Chairman of various Sports Councils.
"Under his leadership, UK Sport has grown in stature and influence. The range of our responsibilities has grown to include distribution of Lottery funds to our leading athletes under the World Class Performance Programme and leading the work on the establishment of the UK Sports Institute, all in addition to our ongoing work in drug-free sport, world class events and international representation of UK-based sports organisations.
"Sir Rodney has built unparalleled experience of sports issues at the highest levels across a wide range of sports, not only through his work at the Sports Councils, but also through senior positions held in Premier League Football, Rugby League and Motor Sport. Sir Rodney is also deservedly credited with turning around the fortunes of the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games and securing the future of the Wembley National Stadium.
"I have absolutely no doubt his remarkable qualities will be in great demand from a wide range of organisations. Our loss will be their gain. His wise council, vision and skilled chairmanship will be sadly missed by us all at UK Sport."
Sir Rodney added: "I have done nine years altogether and it comes to an end in September. When you realise the average term of my predecessors was six years I think I have had a good run."