Rod Houston bowed out after six years as Breedon Highland League secretary at the division’s annual general meeting in Keith last night.
The former president of the Scottish Schools’ FA was just the sixth secretary in the 129-year history of the Highland League.
Houston will be replaced by John Campbell who has been chief executive officer of the Scottish Welfare FA since 2011.
Over the last six years Houston has helped open up the pyramid at the bottom of the league with play-offs involving the North Superleague, Midlands League and North Caledonian League introduced.
And during the last two years he helped guide Highland League clubs through the Covid-19 pandemic.
Houston said: “I’ve got mixed feelings, I’ll miss a job that I’ve enjoyed a lot, but I think it’s the right time for me, the right time for my family and the right time for the organisation.
“It’s been an interesting six years. You’ve got the standard programme of matches and all the things you do to run a league.
“Then you throw in developing the pyramid and there’s also been the small matter of the pandemic.
“I think Covid has been the biggest challenge the league has faced in peace time.
“The way the league responded was magnificent and as a result clubs are probably more resilient than they were before it.
“It’s been very easy to work with John over the last few months ahead of him taking on the role.”
Highland League president George Manson added: “Rod has made an immense contribution in his six years as secretary.
“He’s been very efficient and alongside assistant secretary Graham Wilson he has done an amazing job in keeping the league going during Covid.
“I can’t speak highly enough of Rod, but I’m really pleased John is coming on board, he appears to be an excellent fit and hopefully things will continue as normal.”
New secretary Campbell has shadowed Houston over the past few months.
He said: “It’s been fantastic to have the opportunity to see how Rod manages the role.
“He does it very well, it’s been great for me to get that insight and it gives me food for thought moving forward.”