The chairman of a car sales group with a base in Oswestry is celebrating a prestigious new role in elite sport.

Nic Coward, who is boss of Furrows Group, the 100-year-old family business which has motor dealerships in Telford, Shrewsbury and Oswestry, has taken on a key role with UK Athletics in Olympic and Paralympic year.

Mr Coward will chair the UK Athletics (UKA), the governing body of athletics through to the end of 2020, where he is currently filling the role of chief executive officer, and has filled a number of key roles in sport as part of his professional career.

He was previously general secretary of the Premier League and has been chief executive of the British Horseracing Authority and The Football Associations.

His current roles in sport include chair of England Golf and of the England and Wales Cricket Board Regulatory Committee.

He admitted he was delighted to take on the role,especially in a crucial year for athletics ahead of the Games in Japan later this year.

He said: “Athletics makes a significant impact across the country and captures the nation’s imagination, especially in Olympic and Paralympic year.

"I’m looking forward to working with all involved in the sport, at every level, and across the country,” he said.

Current UKA Chair Chris Clark welcomed the appointment, believing Mr Coward's expertise is needed across for the sport in 2020.

He said: “Nic has already made a very positive impact on UK Athletics, and retaining his expertise for this transition period was really important for the Board.”