DICKIE Evans has formally stepped down as the owner of the Cornish Pirates.

The man who has been at the helm of the Mennaye Field club for 20 years officially relinquished his post today after announcing his intentions to leave last October.

Under his reign, the side won the British and Irish Cup in 2010 along with two appearances in the Greene King IPA Championship play-off final.

In a statement posted on the club's website, Evans said: “Family, age, health, distance, weariness, frustration, other business commitments stacked up and brought me to the conclusion last September that I should resign and I did so but kept it amongst close colleagues initially.

“In the last few months with the help of my lawyer, Mark Taylor, our excellent accountant at the club, Rebecca Daniell and Sue and Richard Cockram who handled the shareholder secretariat brilliantly, we have reached the final stages and I sign over the shares in Kernow Sport to just over 70 new shareholders.

“They inherit the club in a considerably better position than it was in 1995 when I became seriously involved, as we have no debt and are in the 24 teams in England. Long may it last.”