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 after the 37-8 European Rugby Challenge Cup win over Benetton Treviso, James Hook admitted that the Italian side made things tough for Gloucester at times but that the Cherry and Whites are happy to take the bonus point win and turn their focus to Northampton next week.
Speaking to GRTV after the game, Backs Coach Tim Taylor was happy with the squad as they cruised to victory over Treviso. The result wasn't in doubt, but the Cherry and Whites laboured to secure a crucial try bonus point.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester Rugby centre Matt Scott is excited to take the field again as the Cherry and Whites look to build on the win in Bayonne when Treviso come to Kingsholm this Saturday.
Defence Coach Jonny Bell admitted this week that the European Rugby Challenge Cup victory in Bayonne was a welcome one, stressed that Benetton Treviso will pose a tough test on Saturday at Kingsholm but that Gloucester are determined to deliver in front of their own fans.
Motu Matu'u is looking to make up for lost time this week as the Cherry and Whites head to Basque Country to take on Bayonne in the European Rugby Challenge Cup opener. The Samoan hooker made his first appearance in the jersey last weekend, and is hoping to contribute to the team this weekend.
Gloucester's attentions turn to Europe this weekend as they travel to Bayonne for their opening fixture of this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup. Forwards Coach Trevor Woodman told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will be aiming to top their pool as they've done for the past two seasons, but is well aware of how tough it is to win in France.
Although understandably disappointed at seeing victory slip away at the last minute, Ben Morgan said after the game at Exeter that there were plenty of positives that Gloucester could take from the game.
Gloucester made it two wins from two outings in this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup as they outplayed Benetton Treviso at Kingsholm to win by 37 points to 8, the bonus point try coming with the final play of the game.