GLOUCESTER Rugby are delighted to announce that Martin St Quinton has become a major new partner in the Guinness Premiership club.
The telecommunications entrepreneur (50) will also sit on the board of Directors alongside managing director Ken Nottage and other board directors after purchasing a 25% shareholding in the club.
The Walkinshaw family will remain as principle owners with Tom as Chairman - a position he has held for more than a decade at the Kingsholm club.
"Any major off-field development such as this is extremely important for any club and I would like to take this opportunity of welcoming Martin on board on behalf of everyone at Gloucester Rugby," Walkinshaw said.
"Martin's involvement comes at a vital time for the club when we are growing and developing faster than at any time in our history.
"He has tremendous business acumen and will add value as a stakeholder - I am delighted to be able to bring him onboard at the club."
St Quinton has had a distinguished business career. In 1980 he started The Saint Group, a private office equipment company, which he sold to Danka PLC in 1993. From then until 1999 he was CEO of Danka's International Operations. During this six-year period he acquired over 50 companies in 30 different countries.
In 2000, he founded another company Azzurri Communications which has grown to 700 staff and a £150million turnover in eight years. In 2003, St Quinton was named Ernst & Young Technology Entrepreneur of the Year.
His interest in rugby started at Pocklington School in Yorkshire where he was 1st XV captain, he went on to play for Durham University.
St Quinton said: "I am extremely excited about the opportunity to join this club with such history, tradition and passion. To be involved with such a major institution like Gloucester is not only humbling but a tremendous challenge.
"Tom has done a huge amount for the club over the last decade and I want to support him to take the club to the next level - a level where we can challenge the best in Europe over the long-term.
"The club owns its own ground at Kingsholm and the priority will be to enlarge the stadium to a 20,000 capacity, thereby providing the financial backbone to enable to the club to consistently win trophies.
"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am thrilled at the prospect of getting involved."
Speaking with the local media before the Gloucester team set off on the long trip north to Newcastle, Director of Rugby David Humphreys discussed his team selection and stated that Friday night's meeting will be a challenging one.
Speaking to the local media on Thursday, Matt Kvesic was looking forward to the trip to Newcastle Falcons, and the captain is looking to lead from the front with plenty for the Cherry and Whites to work on.
Gloucester saw a 12-0 lead overturned by Harlequins on Friday night as the visitors ran out 22-15 winners. After the game, Director of Rugby David Humphreys spoke about missed opportunities on the night.
Speaking to the local media on Thursday, James Hudson explained his excitement for tonight's game with Harlequins and that he is backing the Cherry and White squad to impress during the next set of Aviva Premiership games.
20 year old Lewis Ludlow was one of Gloucester's young guns who contributed hugely to the 18-9 LV= Cup win at London Welsh on Sunday afternoon. After the game, he praised his team mates for the massive team effort by an inexperienced side.
There are three changes to Gloucester Rugby's starting line-up for Friday evening's Aviva Premiership fixture away at Newcastle Falcons. Steve McColl will make his first Premiership start for the club.