FORMER Cardiff Rugby player and chairman Peter Thomas has died aged 79.
The Welsh club confirmed on Wednesday morning that Thomas "passed away peacefully at his home with his family by his side".
Thomas was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2021.
The former hooker played 11 times for Cardiff RFC in the 1960s before becoming a patron of the club in 1990 and chairman in 1996.
He spent 22 years in the role before stepping down in 2018.
In doing so he wrote off more than £11million of club debts.
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However, he remained at the club as a major share holder and took the title of Life President.
Cardiff RFC paid tribute to Thomas after his death, with an obituary reading: "Peter will be remembered as one of the most important and influential figures in the unrivalled history of Cardiff Rugby.
"The club was his lifelong passion and we will forever be indebted to Peter and the Thomas family."
Cardiff star Josh Turnbull wrote on Twitter: "Incredibly sad day, proud to have known him greatful to have spent time with him, indebted for everything he has done for @Cardiff_Rugby.
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"Sending my deepest condolences to the family my thoughts are with you all.
"RIP Peter Thomas."
And Wales Rugby Union CEO Nigel Walker said on Thomas: "He made a huge contribution to Cardiff Rugby and had a significant and long lasting impact on my career both on and off the field.
"Thank you and God bless you."
In 2012 Thomas was appointed a CBE for services to business, sport and charitable work in Wales.
Cardiff won the European Challenge Cup twice during Thomas' time as chairman, in 2010 and 2018, in doing so becoming the first Welsh team to win a European trophy.
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