Barmouth-raised recruitment entrepreneur Ross Porter has paid tribute to the influence late businessman and rugby benefactor Tony Brown had on his career.

Ross, managing director of Clear Sky Recruitment, who was born and bred in Barmouth, met the former owner of office equipment manufacturer Bisley more than two decades ago.

But despite the length of time since then, the meeting with manufacturer and Newport rugby benefactor Mr Brown, who died recently aged 86, remains fresh in the business owner’s memory.

Ross, winner of the Gwent Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2000, said: “I remember meeting Tony Brown like it was yesterday.

“Although I only had the pleasure of sharing Tony’s company once, it felt like I’d known him for years once we started to speak.

“I admired Tony for what he achieved in business and for being a genuinely nice person who always had time for people from all backgrounds.”

Ross, who is originally from Barmouth where he retains strong ties, said: “Since an early age, I have just wanted to better myself and my situation.

“When our children were born, the driving factor changed in order to ensure that they didn’t have to struggle in years to come in the same ways that I did.

“Growing up in Barmouth in the 1970s and ‘80s was special. During those times, the town of Barmouth was full of characters, and I learned a lot about life in these formative years.

“In general, it seemed like the town had a no-holds-barred sense of humour which I feel helped me in later life.”