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."
Northampton away was the first Gloucester game under David Humphreys last season, but the Director of Rugby told the local media that the Cherry and Whites are a different proposition compared to 12 months ago and are looking forward to the challenge.
Having skippered Gloucester against the Barbarians last week, Nick Wood once again wore the captain's armband on Monday evening as Gloucester United kicked off their Aviva Premiership A League campaign with a bonus point win at Leicester.
Gloucester recorded a 32-20 win over La Rochelle on Thursday evening, and second row Jeremy Thrush was thrilled to pick up the victory on his first taste of a trip to France and the hostile atmosphere.
Gloucester were forced to battle for their 33-20 victory in La Rochelle on Thursday evening, something that centre Bill Meakes said that he and the squad were well prepared for as well as thanking the travelling support for the part they played.
Gloucester got off to a winning start in the European Rugby Challenge Cup last weekend, but Head Coach Laurie Fisher is expecting a much tougher challenge when the Cherry and Whites travel to La Rochelle for Thursday night's Round Two encounter.
Dan Thomas was a try scorer in the 14-62 defeat at the hands of the Barbarians on Tuesday evening, but told GRTV after the game that he'd really enjoyed taking on the Barbarians and locking horns with Ardie Savea at the breakdown.
After a long, hard battle to return to fitness, Henry Trinder made his long awaited comeback in the second half of the 23-10 win over Zebre on Saturday and admitted he was taken aback by the reception he got from the Kingsholm crowd.
After missing out on Gloucester's two recent European fixtures, Jonny May is back on the left wing for Friday evening's Aviva Premiership fixture at Northampton, while Mariano Galarza is named in the matchday squad for the first time this season.