Surrey CCC Remembers Mr M.A.R. Galadari - Kia Oval Skip to main content

Surrey County Cricket Club are saddened by the death of Mr. M.A.R. Galadari, a long-standing and generous friend of the club who has made a major contribution to the development of The Kia Oval.

Every great sporting arena takes plenty of loving care to remain ahead of the game, or risk sliding into disrepair and insignificance. Investment in The Kia Oval over the past half-century has been significant, with the friendship and generosity of Mr M.A.R. Galadari making an enormous contribution.

The south-east corner of the ground, adjacent to the pavilion, which once housed the Laker, Lock and Peter May stands, began an exciting redevelopment in the autumn of 2019, with completion due 18 months later. Within six months it came up against the howling headwinds of the Covid pandemic, challenging construction – which continued despite all the problems – and the club’s income.

When One Oval Square had been completed – increasing the ground’s capacity by 2,700 seats, incorporating the 175 and Duchy suites, a roof terrace with panoramic views over London, enhancing the club’s corporate footprint and revolutionising the facilities for members – it was renamed the M.A.R. Galadari Stand.

His multi-million-pound contribution was timed perfectly so that the new structure, incorporating the Peter May Terrace, Laker Terrace and Lock Terrace – three heroes of Surrey and England’s golden era in the 1950s – could be officially opened in June 2021 as cricket reopened after the third lockdown.

It was a crowning moment in Galadari’s long association with Surrey, allowing further investment in the club’s community and charitable projects. Owner of the Hyatt Regency Blackfriars and with investments in a wide range of property in and around the capital, he had supported construction of a new entrance to the The Oval’s members pavilion in 2012 – greatly enhancing the somewhat nondescript frontage which emerged to public view after the demolition of the Surrey Tavern – while backing work in the Lambeth community plus improvements to the ground’s museum.

Another significant contribution came with the Saoud Galadari Scholarship in 2016, enabling promising young players to train with the professional squad, it’s first recipient being off-spinner Amar Virdi.

A representative of the Galadari family said: “Mr Galadari was tremendously proud of his association with Surrey County Cricket Club, and it was a great honour to see a stand bearing his name.

“On the times we were able to visit, we had a wonderful time and thank the club for their hospitality. We look forward continuing the association with the Club in years to come.”

Surrey County Cricket Club CEO Steve Elworthy said; “This is such sad news, and our thoughts are with Mr Galadari’s family.

“The Kia Oval is one of the preeminent sporting venues in the world, in no small part due to the contributions of Mr. M.A.R Galadari.

“His generosity allowed us to not just develop the stadium, but to further our investment in the local community and the charity work we do as a Club. We owe Mr. M.A.R. Galadari and his family a tremendous debt of gratitude for their support over many years.”