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 to the local media this week, Richard Hibbard expressed his excitement ahead of the West Country derby and that there is an extra spring in the step of the Cherry and Whites ahead of the tough challenge.
With such a short turnaround between the two games, and Gloucester looking to reintegrate several players into the line-up after the Autumn international series, Tom Savage told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will keep changes to a minimum for the European Rugby Challenge Cup game in Zebre on Saturday.
Gloucester travel to Italy this weekend to take on Zebre in Round Four of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The Cherry and Whites defeated the Italian side 35-10 last Sunday, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys is looking for an improved performance in the return fixture.
On a tough evening at Kingsholm, Gloucester could escape neither a suffocating Bath defence, nor the whistle of referee Greg Garner as six penalties and a penalty try paved the way to a 39-16 win for the visitors.
Gloucester Rugby welcome Sione Kalamafoni, Greig Laidlaw and Tom Palmer back to the starting line up and feature David Halaifonua in a matchday squad for the first time, as they resume Aviva Premiership action against Bath Rugby at Kingsholm on Saturday (kick off 5:30pm).