MYSTERY surrounds the position of Wiltshire FA county secretary Mike Benson.

The Swindon Advertiser understands that 78-year-old Benson has been on leave from his position for several weeks.

Exactly why the Wiltshire County Football Association stalwart is currently absent from his post is unclear.

No officials from the Wiltshire FA were prepared to comment on the matter while chairman Richard Gardiner could not be contacted yesterday.

The Football Association in London also refused to comment further than saying it was a “county FA matter”.

Benson himself insisted he was on “self-imposed suspended leave” citing the pressures of the job as the reason for his absence.

“I have been on suspended leave imposed by myself,” said Benson.

“I spoke to my chairman and he advised me to take some time off so that is what I did.

“It is a pressurised job and it takes it out of you.

“I have been stressed with the job for years now and my doctor also advised me to take time off.

“I am hoping to be back soon.”

The Advertiser has spoken to other league officials throughout Wiltshire and they revealed they had been unable to contact Benson or establish the reason for his absence.

One of our sources said: “We do not know what is going on.

“We have been unable to contact Mike Benson at the Wiltshire FA offices and nobody there is able to confirm why he is not around.

“I’ve heard various things such as he is on suspended leave, away on holiday or on gardening leave but I really don’t know what to believe.”