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Sir Arthur South

NCFC logo
Norwich Career: 1966-1985 (Director / Chairman)
Current Club: Deceased
Date of Birth: 1914
Nationality: English


Sir Arthur South was one of Norwich's most dedicated public servants and the man who helped rescue the city's football club from financial ruin. He died on January 28th 2003 aged 89.

Born in Norwich in 1914, he attended the City of Norwich School and first came to prominence in politics in 1935 when, aged 21, he became Britain's youngest councillor, representing the then Catton ward. He went on to become Labour leader of the council, holding the position for 18 years.

War interrupted Sir Arthur's municipal service, and after joining the RAF in 1940 he was seconded to the Ministry of Aircraft Production. After returning to the council in 1946, he made housing his special interest. By 1956 he had notched up another first when he became the youngest Lord Mayor in the history of Norwich. And it was during his term as mayor that he championed a successful £25,000 public appeal on behalf of the Canaries to save the then Division Three South side from financial ruin.

He also served the city as Sheriff in 1953-54. Knighted in 1974 and made a Freeman of Norwich in 1977, his contribution to the city ranged from campaigning for a better health service and roads to the founding of the University of East Anglia. Among his many and varied roles, he was also chairman of the East Anglian Regional Health Authority and a member of the UEA council from 1964 to 1980.

His involvement with Norwich City began in 1966 when he was made a director and it was when Geoffrey Watling stood down as chairman that Sir Arthur succeeded him on August 30, 1973.

He served as chairman throughout John Bond's managerial term and also that of Ken Brown, but boardrooom unrest connected with the building of a new City Stand in the autumn of 1985 led to the resignation of the entire board and Sir Arthur was replaced by the controversial figure of Robert Chase.

Mr Brown said he was deeply saddened at the death of the man who gave him his first managerial job. He remembered him coming into the dressing room after matches and sitting beside his favourite player - striker Mike Channon. "I had some lovely experiences with him and he was the best chairman I ever worked for.. We have been talking recently about legends and he was a legend as far as Norwich City is concerned."

John Bond, who managed the Canaries from 1973 to 1980, said Sir Arthur was forthright and could be ruthless, but remembered him with fondness. "I got on absolutely famous with him and I always said that if I never had a father of my own, I would have wanted it to have been him. I loved him - he was as straight as a die. If he thought I was doing things wrong, he would tell me. He never held grudges and he was a top man to work for. To this day I can't believe I ever left him, really. He was a good man and such a good person to be with."

Quotes taken from the Pink Un website

Official Norwich City website

All statistics on this site are accurate as of end of 2011/12 season
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