WALES double Grand Slam winner Ian Gough is to become a patron of a Pontypool-based charity.

The lock, who will return to his home region Newport Gwent Dragons next season, will help raise awareness for Hire a Hero, based in Mamhilad.

Originally from Cwmbran, he joins Colonel Tim Collins as a patron.

Hire a Hero is a charity that supports serving and ex-military personnel through the transition into civilian life.

Mr Gough, 37, who was capped 64 times for his country, said: “It struck a chord with me and is something I really wanted to get involved with right from the start.”

His work with the charity dates back to a fundraising exhibition last year of Mount Elbrus – one of the world’s seven summits.

Hire a Hero chief executive Gerry Hill hailed Mr Gough’s patronship as a significant step for the charity.

“It’s very timely that Ian will become patron ahead of his move back to the Dragons,” he said.

As patron, Mr Gough hopes to take part in more fundraising challenges and aims to help Hire a Hero in anyway possible – and urges everyone to do the same.

His first engagement will see him open the Forest Activities Festival in the grounds of the Speech House Hotel, Forest of Dean.

More on the work of Hire a Hero can be found at

For more on the Forest Activities Festival, see