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It was a final journey to the iconic stadium he was instrumental in securing for West Wales as the rugby world assembled for the commemoration service of Stuart Gallacher as one the most dedicated Scarlets of all time.

Poignantly, his funeral cortege arrived from the West stand entrance to rest at the half-way line on the pitch at Parc y Scarlets with the route lined by the current Scarlets squad, who saluted a giant of a rugby character who gave so much to Scarlets and Welsh regional rugby as whole.

A packed crowd of rugby legends, players, administrators and supporters stood silently to the Scarlets anthem Yma Y hyd and filled the South stand at Parc y Scarlets to pay their respects on Wednesday afternoon to a great rugby figure.

The dignified and uplifting service was conducted by Scarlets chaplain Rev Eldon Phillips with reflections given by Stuart’s granddaughter, Adrienne, from Scarlets announcer Munro Walters, former Scarlets chairman and close friend Huw Evans and former Scarlet player and commercial director Rupert Moon.

Representatives from across rugby in Europe attended the service to pay tribute and offer their support to Stuart’s family with his wife Jan. The family have taken much comfort from the volume of support they have received since the sad news of his passing on Sunday 19th October.

Former Scarlets and Regional Rugby Wales Chairman Huw Evans spoke of his close friend and colleague with great affection and respect as he outlined how his life was dedicated to rugby union and rugby league, the Scarlets and his beloved family.

Huw Evans said: “Stu’s courage and dignity in adversity, supported by the likes of Gareth, Grav, Buchs and Ron – that proved crucial in my support of the club and the long stressful and exhausting 13 year battle for survival that followed. There is no doubt that the Scarlets, this beautiful stadium, in which Leicester were beaten last Saturday – and well done from Stu boys – would not exist if not for Ian Stu Gallacher.

“How fitting that he rests here now, proudly in his place of honour.

“He would not bring himself to believe the numbers here or the goodwill that exists in this place for him – neither could he have ever in his wildest dreams, believed the sheer number of messages of support and flowers received at the house. There has been an outpouring of support, which given his modesty and unassuming nature, is way beyond his contemplation.

“Everyone will rightly extoll the tremendous contributions that Stu made to The Scarlets, Regional Rugby Wales and European rugby generally – and they are truly immense.

“I am particularly proud of the very highest esteem in which Stu was held, by everyone he met and worked with, from so many rugby playing nations. In all of these dealings he flew the flag for Wales superbly and created many friends and allies both personally and for us nationally.

“Moreover he engendered both respect for us and as importantly credibility and gravitas for our views. However, above all else, I wish to mention his personal qualities.

“Stuart Gallacher will always be remembered for the strength of his character, the depth of his loyalty and commitment to his friends.

“For all his considerable presence and strength of view he never took himself too seriously and was humble regarding all his numerous achievements, readily and often laughing at his mistakes.

“He was deeply respectful of those he believed deserve it and an accomplished diplomat when required.

“He could also give it straight from the shoulder – he was honest in all regards. He was the best companion, overflowing with anecdotes, stories like no other and a wonderful sense of humour.

“To a man, anyone worth his salt in rugby and with real rugby values held him in the very highest regard and with outstanding fondness. Very, very few men come along like Stuart Gallacher – they don’t make many like him.”

The Scarlets hosted a reception for guests and family in the Quinnell Lounge at Parc y Scarlets after the private family funeral held at Llanelli Crematorium.

Images courtesy of Huw Evans Agency