William Westwood, 2nd Baron Westwood

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The Lord Westwood
Born 25 December 1907
Died 8 November 1991
Nationality English
Known for Former chairman of Newcastle United

William Westwood, 2nd Baron Westwood (25 December 1907 – 8 November 1991) was a British peer, director of Hornby Railways and former chairman of Newcastle United.

Biography[edit]

Westwood lost one of his eyes in a car accident in 1956. As a result, he wore an eye patch for the rest of his life. Upon the death of his father in 1953, he inherited his father's title and estate.

Lord Westwood followed his father, seven years after the death of his father, into the Newcastle United boardroom in 1960. Three years later he became chairman and was to hold the post for the next 18 years. The colourful chairman was at the helm the last time the club captured a meaningful trophy, the 1969 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. In that time he was voted president of the Football League in 1974, vice-chairman of the Football Association and served on the UEFA professional committee.

Lord Westwood was known as a man who dominated the boardroom with his razor sharp wit, a talent which made him an outstanding after dinner speaker and a captivating conversationalist.[1]

Despite his good record as chairman he resigned from the board under controversial circumstances in 1981. Newcastle United were in dire straits and each director had been asked to put a £16,000 guarantee into the club to help finances. Lord Westwood had just been hit with a big financial loss following the stock market collapse of DCM, Europe's leading toy company, of which he was also chairman, and he refused to dig any deeper in helping out Newcastle United.[2]

Hornby Railways released a model Hall Class Locomotive in 1973 and 1974 called Lord Westwood.[1]

The lowest point in his stint as chairman was in the crisis-torn year of 1977, when six leading first team players threatened to quit the club after contract talks broke down. Amid allegations of back-stabbing in the boardroom, when Lord Westwood, claimed himself and the then just sacked manager Richard Dinnis were being knifed in the back, he ordered a complete ban of every Newcastle United employee, especially the players, from talking to the press. After a string of defeats, Newcastle went down 2–1 to Arsenal at St James' Park and hundreds of demonstrators called for the chairman's resignation with angry shouts of Westwood out. Many fans fought among themselves in the Leazes End and there were 10 arrests.[2]

Lord Westwood died in 8 November 1991.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Lord Westwood alias The Pirate". nufcmismanagement.info. Retrieved 2008-08-04. 
  2. ^ a b "Lording it over the Toon empire". chroniclelive.co.uk. 2007-05-26. Retrieved 2008-08-04. 
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
William Westwood
Baron Westwood
1953–1991
Succeeded by
William Gavin Westwood
Business positions
Preceded by
Wally Hurford
Newcastle United F.C. chairman
1963–1978
Succeeded by
Bob Rutherford