Bernard Gallacher will pass on his golfing wisdom to the stars of sport and entertainment at this year’s Celebrity Cup after signing up as the event’s golf ambassador.
Calling on his experience as a three-time Ryder Cup captain, Gallacher (pictured) will mentor the stars for the team match play battle between England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales at Celtic Manor from July 4th-6th. He will also be putting the competitors through their golfing paces in special head-to-head skills tests between matches at the Celebrity Cup.
“I was the club professional at Wentworth for 25 years so I really enjoy teaching and helping people with their game,” said Gallacher, who masterminded Europe's second Ryder Cup victory on American soil at Oak Hill in 1995. "The last time I was at Celtic Manor, I was by the green on the 17th working for Radio 5 Live when Graeme McDowell won that memorable Ryder Cup in 2010 so I’m really looking forward to going back.”
Among the stars Gallacher will be casting his eye over at the Celebrity Cup are Hollywood actor Dougray Scott, television comics Rob Brydon and Brendan O’Carroll, Irish singing superstars Keith Duffy, Ronan Keating and Brian McFadden, Dragons’ Den entrepreneur Peter Jones, model Jodie Kidd, cricketer Graeme Swann and actors Bradley Walsh and Philip Glenister. Scotland were the inaugural champions in 2013 and former rugby internationals Gavin Hastings and Kenny Logan and tennis ace Jamie Murray, who hit the winning shot, will be back to defend the trophy.
The event will also raise funds for the Bernard Gallacher Defibrillator Campaign, which was launched following the golfer’s near-fatal cardiac arrest last August.
“I’m lucky to be here,” says Gallacher when he reflects on the heart failure that left him in a coma for seven days. “I consider myself incredibly fortunate that a defibrillator was on hand to resuscitate me following my sudden cardiac arrest. But for the defibrillator and the quick-thinking, expertise and life-saving skills of the medical personnel in the room that night, I wouldn’t be here today.”
Gallacher recalls nothing of the evening in question but he had just got up to speak at a golf function in Aberdeen when he collapsed. His heart stopped three times and three times a defibrillator ensured that his heart began beating again. While he was still recovering in hospital, Gallacher’s wife Lesley was already planning to turn the life-threatening experience into something positive.
“Lesley was the first to fully appreciate all the help I had received and she was the driving force behind the campaign to try to get a defibrillator into every golf club, which we’ve set up in conjunction with the PGA and the Arrhythmia Alliance,” said Bernard. “When we started, only about 30 per cent of golf clubs had a defibrillator but there’s been a fantastic response and a big jump in defibrillators at golf clubs. It’s also raised awareness and more people know about the importance of this equipment.”
Along with the Caron Keating Foundation, the Bernard Gallacher Defibrillator Campaign is one of two official charities for the Celebrity Cup. As well as watching the stars compete outside their comfort zones, the event promises a full family day out with an interactive retail village, entertainment, trick shot shows and a Kids Zone.
*For more information and tickets visit www.celtic-manor.com/the-celebrity-cup-2014 or call Celtic Manor’s Special Events team on 01633 410318.