Leading businessman Gerry Forsgate, the founding father of Hong Kong rugby, died yesterday aged 82. Forsgate, who had been ill for several months, was president of the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union, a chairman of the now-defunct Urban Council and director of Hong Kong Kowloon Wharf and the Star Ferry Company. He first came to Hong Kong from Britain in 1941 and settled in 1947, carving out a career in shipping, port management, cargo and passenger handling, banking, finance and engineering. His work made him a key figure in the development of Hong Kong as the world-renowned port it is today. But Forsgate will probably be remembered best as an outstanding sportsman and for his tremendous contribution to rugby in Hong Kong. He captained the Hong Kong rugby team and was the driving force behind the sport's development in the territory. In rugby circles, he was known as the 'grand old man'. Under his leadership, the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union developed the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens, which evolved into a major international sporting event over the years. He was also the chairman of the Football Club. Forsgate also made a big mark through his tireless contribution to public service. He sat on the Urban Council from 1965 to 1991, including as chairman for five years. He was a council member of the Employers' Federation and was a chairman of the China Coast Community, a residential home for the elderly in Kowloon. Forsgate also participated in fund-raising for the charity. A celebration of his life will be held at St John's Cathedral next Monday. Donations in lieu of flowers should be sent to the China Coast Community at 64 Cumberland Road, Kowloon Tung.