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Leaders of Rugby honoured the memory of former Scarlets and Regional Rugby Chief Executive Gallacher last night after it was announced he had been awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Rugby at Rugby Expo Awards.

Mr Gallacher, who died on Sunday, aged 68 was Chief Executive of Regional Rugby Wales (RRW) and former Director of ERC and the Celtic League, former Chief Executive of the Scarlets and a dual-code international player who made a major contribution to Welsh Rugby during a career that has spanned more than 40 years.  He and his family had been notified that he had won the award last month.

The Award, presented annually is decided upon by a panel of distinguished and wide-ranging cross section of leaders within the game including representatives from the governing bodies and Unions, rugby competitions, business groups including Deloitte, M&C Saatchi and Aviva, media, legal and sports business experts and professional bodies including the Association of Rugby Agents.

Previous winners of the Award have included Sir Ian McGeechan, Bill Beaumont and Warren Gatland.

Recognised and respected as one of the game’s most influential figures during a huge period of change in professional rugby, Stuart Gallacher career included heading Llanelli RFC and the Scarlets for 13 years, overseeing the transition to professionalism, the shift to regional rugby across Wales and the move from Stradey Park. His tenure at the helm of the Scarlets included three Heineken Cup semi-finals for the Scarlets, a Celtic league title and an EDF Energy Cup final appearance.

His knowledge, extensive experience and connections on the world rugby stage came from a career that has included commitments as chairman of Llanelli RFC, CEO of Llanelli RFC, a board member of ERC and Chairman of the ERC Rugby sub-committee for five years, a board member of Celtic Rugby, committee member of LV=Cup and WRU board member as well as leading the Regions as CEO of Regional Rugby Wales for five years from 2009.

Receiving the award in honour of Stuart, his close friend and rugby colleague, former player, Cardiff Blues Chief Executive and now Director of EngageSport Bob Norster said:  “He was a colossus of a man and I feel both privileged and comforted to have served alongside him through the challenging and at times painful evolution of the domestic and European game.

“He epitomised so many of the great qualities that make our game so special. His determined and hard outer shell and shop steward demeanor belied a wonderful caring man who was passionate about his sport and, of course, his beloved Scarlets in equal measure.  A straight-talking, good and trusted friend who you knew would always stand shoulder to shoulder with you whatever the battle.  Like so many I will miss him dearly.”

The Award was given at a dinner at Twickenham last night (Weds) as part of Rugby Expo, the world’s largest live conference, exhibition and interactive event focused on the business of club and provincial rugby covering all levels of the game.

Rugby Expo is run in partnership and supported by Premiership Rugby, RFU, SRU, WRU, RFL, PRO12 and the Championship; held at Twickenham for the fourth consecutive year, the two day event is regarded as the meeting place for key decision makers of the sport, hosting 50 speakers from across the industry, more than 35 exhibitors and 800 attendees including 400 grass roots clubs.

Stuart Gallacher: Career History

  • Rugby Union Player Llanelli RFC; 1965 – 1970; youngest elected captain of the Scarlets (21 years of age) in the history of the club, capped for Wales against France in 1970. 200 games
  • After close to 200 games for Llanelli as a second row and back-row forward he moved to Rugby League as a player for Bradford Bulls; 1970 – 1977; dual international rugby union and rugby league 6 caps first cap against France 1975.
  • 14 appearances for the Barbarians
  • Committee member of Llanelli RFC; 1993
  • Chairman Llanelli RFC; 1994/5 – succeeded Roy Bergiers.
  • First Chief Executive of Llanelli RFC Ltd; 1995. Chief Executive of Llanelli RFC and Scarlets until 2009.  13 years.
  • 16 years on the Board of ERC – chairman of the Rugby Sub Committee; past chairman of the Finance Committee
  • Board of Celtic League; 2003 – 2014
  • Member of the PRGB
  • Member of LV=Cup Organising Committee
  • WRU Board Member – 1 year

Chief Executive of Regional Rugby Wales (2009 – 2013/14)

Image: Bob Norster being presented the Outstanding Contribution to Rugby Award in honour of Stuart Gallacher by chairman of the judging panel, Tony Copsey (Copyright PA Images)