J. Steven Wharton

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J. Steven Wharton (born 1944) is the former chairman and a previous majority shareholder of Scunthorpe United FC.[1][2]

Football chairman[edit]

When he was four years old, his father, Jack, gave him £50-worth of Scunthorpe United shares.[3]

Steve Wharton became chairman at the start of the 2001-2002 season, replacing his father in the role. However, he later announced his resignation after stating that he would resign if the club were not promoted to the then titled Division Two.

He returned as chairman in 2004 after a boardroom battle with his then replacement Chris Holland. He immediately re-appointed then manager Brian Laws following his sacking three weeks earlier.[4] Along with Holland, three other board members resigned from the Glanford Park club.

He re-instated Laws again in 2012, but stood down as chairman and withdrew from the board at the end of the 2012/2013 season. He was replaced by former Gainsborough chairman Peter Swann.

Business[edit]

He was the previous head of the Wharton shipping complex at nearby Gunness. This family business of shipping and freight transport was founded by his grandfather Joseph but its sale was announced in 2005.

Wharton joined the business in 1961, and was instrumental in the continuing growth and success of the company. His personal fortune is an estimated £33 million.[5]

2008 illness[edit]

On 17 March 2008, he suffered a suspected heart attack and was admitted to hospital.[6][7] He was released from hospital on 26 March and spent time at home recovering.[8] He returned to club duties in July.[9]

He cited his 2013 retirement as being necessary due to his health.

Personal life[edit]

Wharton is also a close friend with former deputy prime minister Michael Heseltine. One employee of Wharton recalled Heseltine arriving by helicopter to visit him.[citation needed]

References[edit]