Rugby: Former Gloucester chairman Tom Walkinshaw inducted into Premiership Hall of Fame

GLOUCESTER chairman Ryan Walkinshaw has spoken of his delight and pride, in hearing that late father Tom will be inducted into Premiership Rugby's Hall of Fame this month.

Tom, who sadly passed away in December 2010 at the age of 64, will be inducted alongside Martin Johnson, Rob Baxter, Ed Morrison, Lewis Moody and George Chuter.

Ryan, the current majority shareholder at Gloucester, will represent his father at a prestigious ceremony on January 22 at the HAC in London.

He said: "It's a huge honour, and I feel a fitting tribute to the work that my father did on behalf of both Gloucester Rugby and Premiership Rugby.

"On behalf of my family, I'd like to express how proud this nomination makes us.

"Having become chairman of Gloucester Rugby in 1997, Tom also served as chairman of Premier Rugby from 1998-2002 and helped establish stability after a chaotic period for the newly professional sport.

"During his four year tenure as chairman, he oversaw initiatives such as the introduction of the salary cap and average attendances in the Premiership increased by 33 per cent.

"His passion and vision also led the clubs' team negotiating with the Rugby Football Union over the release of England players and a commercial structure that created a commercial vehicle for the healthy progression of English rugby.”

He had a similarly huge impact at club level. During his time as chairman, Gloucester went on to win the Zurich Championship in 2002, the Powergen Cup in 2003 and the European Challenge Cup in 2006.

He was also instrumental in the biggest construction project in the club's history, the redevelopment of the South Stand in 2007.

The club's current status as an organisation in rude health, on and off the field, is a fitting tribute to his contribution.

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