Manchester City is delighted to announce that Sir Richard Leese, former Leader of Manchester City Council, has been appointed as an Honorary President of the Club.

Sir Richard, who stepped down as a Leader of Manchester City Council in December 2021 after decades of public service, has been a regular at City since the mid-90s and a season ticket holder from before the move from Maine Road.

The former Council Leader joins fellow Honorary Presidents Tony Book, Raymond Domm and Sir Howard Bernstein in this role, a group which included the late Ian Niven MBE and Tudor Thomas who have now sadly passed away.

Sir Richard played an instrumental role in Manchester’s successful bid to host the 2002 Commonwealth Games, the legacy of which helped to drive the wide-scale sports-led regeneration of East Manchester, which is now home to the Etihad Stadium and City Football Academy.

Under Sir Richard’s leadership, the city of Manchester once again became a growing, thriving city with culture and sport at its heart for which Sir Richard was awarded the CBE in 2000, and Knighted in 2006 for services to local government.

Despite stepping down from the Council, Sir Richard is only semi-retired and continues to play an active role in the ongoing regeneration of Manchester through his role as Chair of NHS Greater Manchester Integrated Care.

Alongside his regular match attendance, Sir Richard will also take part in key Club activities in a ceremonial role alongside his fellow Honorary Presidents.

In the meantime, Sir Richard is due to run the Great Manchester Run on 21 May – exactly a month after his 72 birthday. He is looking to raise as much money as possible for Prevent Breast Cancer, based at Wythenshawe Hospital.

He and the Club are encouraging all our fans to support his efforts by visiting his JustGiving page.