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2016

September 2016

  1. Thank-you-lunch-RSM-web

    Sir Bob Thanks Backers

    Sir Bob attended a lunch to thank backers of the £18m Beacon of Light project in Sunderland on 30th September. He said, “I was delighted to attend the lunch at the Stadium of Light to…

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    Sir Bob attended a lunch to thank backers of the £18m Beacon of Light project in Sunderland on 30th September. He said, “I was delighted to attend the lunch at the Stadium of Light to personally thank the patrons, benefactors and sponsors of the Beacon of Light project.

    “We have come a long way and overcome some significant milestones since we announced our plans for the community development in Sunderland so I felt very heartened to be in the company of so many likeminded people who share our values, and who want to make a lasting difference to people in the northeast.”

    The Beacon of Light will be a first, and like the Foundation of Light, will be pioneering in its approach and aspirations. It will fuse together sport, education, the world of work and health like no other place in the UK.

    “It is because of my own personal experience in education that I continue to feel so driven to championing its importance, and why at the Foundation of Light we believe everyone deserves the chance to unlock their true potential and shine.

    “I also have a little personal experience in sport! And I know combining sport and education is a compelling and potent mix. Through the Beacon it is our ambition to help people, young and old, to learn more, do more and be more to change many lives for the better. “

    http://www.foundationoflight.co.uk/Beacon-of-Light/what-is-beacon-of-light

     

     

     

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2014

December 2014

  1. Leeds Beckett celebrate Staff awards

    Achievements celebrated at Leeds Beckett awards

    Sir Bob Murray  was guest of honour at the annual Achieving Excellence Awards at Leeds Beckett University, which recognise the contributions of staff across the university. Former Chair of the Board of Governors at Leeds…

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    Leeds Beckett University staff awards celebrations

    Sir Bob Murray  was guest of honour at the annual Achieving Excellence Awards at Leeds Beckett University, which recognise the contributions of staff across the university.

    Former Chair of the Board of Governors at Leeds Beckett, Lord Woolmer of Leeds, was also awarded an honorary Doctor of the University as part of the event, which was attended by Vice Chancellor Professor Susan Price, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Mace Bearer, Professor Paul Smith, and the university’s new Chair of the Board of Governors, David Lowen. The  ceremony was compered by Honorary Graduate and TV personality, Harry Gration.

    Speaking at  the event Sir Bob said: “I was delighted to be able to attend the Achieving Excellence Awards and join with colleagues to celebrate the considerable achievements of staff from across the institution.  It was also a great privilege to confer the honour of Doctor of the University on former Chair of the Board Lord Woolmer.”

    The ten awards categories ranged from Excellence in Customer Service Delivery and Team Colleague of the Year to Course Leader of the Year and Inspiring Teacher of the Year. This year also saw the introduction of a new category for Bright Idea of the Year. Now in their sixth year, the awards encourage staff and students to nominate colleagues for the contribution they make to the university every day, however big or small and 437 nominations were received this year.

    Prior to the awards being announced, former Council Leader, MP and Director of Leeds United, Lord Woolmer was awarded an honorary degree.

    Lord Woolmer was conferred with the award of Doctor of the University by Sir Bob who is Leeds Beckett Chancellor,  for his significant service to the city of Leeds and the region. He  has long-held connections with Leeds and has served the city in a civic capacity for more than 40 years. He has been a member of the House of Lords since 1999 and is currently a member of the Select Committee on European Economic and International Trade Policies. Lord Woolmer said: “It is an enormous privilege and a great honour to be awarded the first honorary degree from Leeds Beckett University and I’m truly delighted. I would remind Leeds Beckett’s current students that they are very able people with enormous potential and that they need to seize that potential because life is so full of opportunities.”

     

    For more information visit  www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk

     

     

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2013

January 2013

  1. Sir Bob Murray Kickz Pic 1 (4)

    Sir Bob chats to nebusiness and visits youth project in Derwentside

    Sir Bob met up with Peter Jackson to chat about old times and do a profile piece for neBusiness and The Journal when he was in the north east.   View Article Page 1 View…

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    Sir Bob met up with Peter Jackson to chat about old times and do a profile piece for neBusiness and The Journal when he was in the north east.

     

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    Later in the day he visited Derwentside to see at first-hand the impact of a youth project in Consett, Co. Durham.
    Sir Bob, who is the founder and Chair of Trustees for the Foundation of Light praised the work of the family learning and Kickz programme, which was launched in Consett and Stanley last year.

    The programme provides a range of sport related activities for 13 to 19-year-olds and has achieved impressive results in the region.
    It was expanded to Derwentside following a new partnership between Derwentside Homes and the Foundation of Light.
    The award-winning Kickz programme uses the power of football to engage with young people in local communities and aims is to reduce anti-social behaviour,
    teach youngsters valuable skills and increase their confidence.

    The Foundation has also rolled out its successful Family Learning programme in Derwentside, which offers first steps learning to parents and carers, as well as adult learning courses and qualifications.

    Since it was launched in April 2012, over 1,780 youngsters have participated in the Kickz evening, holiday and daytime sessions in schools across the District. Police have also reported that since May 2012, crime has reduced by 72% in the Consett town centre area.

    Over 40 local families have engaged in Family Learning courses in Derwentside since September 2012 and of those, 27 families have fully completed the courses.

    Sir Bob said: “It’s fantastic to see the positive impact that the Foundation is already having in the Derwentside area.”

    “One of the Foundation’s aims is to give people the opportunity to change their lives for the better and the support of organisations such as Derwentside Homes really make this possible by helping us into the heart of communities.”

    “I always believe that a huge amount of credit should go to those who take part in the programmes and are willing to give new things a go. It was a real pleasure meeting some of those people today and they are a real inspiration to all of us at the Foundation of Light.”

    Derwentside Homes’ chief executive Geraldine Wilcox said: “It was really generous of Sir Bob to come and visit the project and meet the youngsters and families that benefit from these activities. He is an ambassador for the North East and an inspiration to young people.

    “Since it was launched, the programme has grown from strength to strength and results demonstrate that through effective partnership working, we can make a difference to the lives of people who live in our communities.

    “Young people are the future so it important that we show our commitment by investing in services for them which will have a long lasting impact on a future generation.”

    Kickz sessions take place weekly at Derwentside College and The Chill In in Consett and Stanley Youth Centre and St. Stephen’s Church in Stanley.

    For more information about the Foundation of Light click here http://www.safc.com/foundation-of-light

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  1. leeds_chanceller_300x125

    Sir Bob installed as Chancellor at Leeds Metropolitan

    Sir Bob was installed as Leeds Metropolitan University’s new Chancellor during an official ceremony in the university’s Great Hall on Monday 28th January. The formal occasion began with 100 representatives from across the university leading…

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    Sir Bob was installed as Leeds Metropolitan University’s new Chancellor during an official ceremony in the university’s Great Hall on Monday 28th January.

    The formal occasion began with 100 representatives from across the university leading a procession, followed by a showcase of student work, including music and dance performances.

    Vice Chancellor Professor Susan Price welcomed guests while Jenny Share, Secretary and Registrar, gave a citation detailing Sir Bob’s achievements to date. Following his installation, the Lord Mayor of Leeds offered Sir Bob a civic welcome.

    The university announced Bob was to be their new figurehead in October last year. As an alumnus of Leeds Met, his links with the university date back to 1969 when he moved to Yorkshire to study accountancy part-time at the university’s predecessor institution, Leeds Polytechnic. Some years later, in 2008, he was awarded an honorary doctorate in business administration by Leeds Metropolitan for his contribution to business and sport.

    Speaking during the Inauguration ceremony Sir Bob said: “I’m both astonished and thrilled to be here today. I feel very privileged to be invited to be Chancellor of this esteemed institution and I would like to thank the University for granting me this unique position.

    “I’ve strived to achieve many goals in my life, but I would never have dreamt that being Chancellor of a major University, with 30,000 students and staff, would become one of them!”
    Talking about his own education he said: “If you had read my school reports, I am not sure I would be standing here today! The fact is I failed at School. In part due to a childhood setback, but also a modest work ethic! I believe my personal story to be apt though, as it demonstrates the power of education.
    “I was born just after the war in the baby boom of 1946. When I left school in 1961 there were twice as many school leavers seeking employment as there were jobs. As there was no prospect of me joining the local steelworks where my dad worked, I was unemployed for a year. That experience was the hardest but also the most important of my life. It had a profound effect and changed my life.”

    “It gave me a lifelong driving ambition to succeed and I finally woke up and understood the importance of education.” “I am especially thrilled to be taking on this role in Leeds. I came to Yorkshire in 1969 for 2 years to advance my career. That was 44 years ago! Yorkshire is now my adopted home and I have spent my entire business career here.

    Reflecting on his business career he added, “Throughout my career I’ve always been passionate about building things. I’m inspired by creating businesses, developing major projects and forming relationships. I never do things alone, always choosing to work in partnership with great people. I believe in approaching everything I do with sincerity and integrity.”

    “I hope my experience in business and lifelong focus on education will give me the necessary qualities to support the university, its outstanding staff and the next generation of leaders, entrepreneurs and professionals to achieve their ambitions and aspirations.”

    Inauguration Invitation

    Leeds Metropolitan University  

    •     Leeds Metropolitan University has over 27,000 students and around 2,800 staff.

    •     The Vice Chancellor of Leeds Metropolitan University is Professor Susan Price and the Chair of the Board is Lord Woolmer of Leeds.

    •      Leeds Metropolitan’s four faculties are: Arts, Environment and Technology, Business & Law, Health and Social Sciences, and Carnegie.

    •      Leeds Metropolitan’s heritage can be traced back to the founding of the Mechanics Institute in Leeds in 1824.

    •      The Destination of Leavers in Higher Education (DLHE) showed that the proportion of Leeds Metropolitan 2010/11 graduates in work, further study or both six months after leaving university was 91.87%.

    •      Libraries and Learning Innovation at Leeds Metropolitan was awarded the CSE standard for the tenth year running in 2012.

    •      In 2012, Leeds Metropolitan was awarded a ‘First’ in the People & Planet Green League, a league table of environmentally friendly universities, for the sixth consecutive year.

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2012

October 2012

  1. RSM-LEEDSMET12-e1358176126828

    Sir Bob Murray to be appointed Chancellor at Leeds Metropolitan University

    On 15th October, Leeds Metropolitan announced that Sir Bob Murray CBE is to become the new Chancellor of the University. Sir Bob, who was described as a businessman, philanthropist, and passionate supporter of education, will…

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    On 15th October, Leeds Metropolitan announced that Sir Bob Murray CBE is to become the new Chancellor of the University.
    Sir Bob, who was described as a businessman, philanthropist, and passionate supporter of education, will be officially installed as Chancellor at a formal ceremony at the university early 2013.

    Bob has been a leading business figure in Yorkshire for the last 43 years but is probably best known for his chairmanship of Sunderland AFC. He is also heavily involved with charitable causes and education: he is co-sponsor of Academy 360 which educates 4-16 year olds and aims to break cycles of educational underachievement and he set up the pioneering Foundation of Light charity to bring benefits to the community in the north east and beyond.

    Bob’s connection to Leeds Met dates back to 1969 when he moved to Yorkshire to study accountancy at the university’s predecessor institution, Leeds Polytechnic. Some years later, in 2008, he was awarded an honorary doctorate in business administration by Leeds Metropolitan for his contribution to business and sport.

    Sir Bob said: “I feel very privileged to have been invited to become the Chancellor of such an esteemed Institution as Leeds Metropolitan University and was thrilled to accept. It is a highly-respected University that plays such an important role in developing the potential and talent of thousands of students from many different parts of the world.“As a former graduate and as someone who has worked in Yorkshire for more than 40 years it will be a great honour to take on such a leading role with the University. I hope my experience and track record in business, lifelong focus on education, and passion for sport will give me the necessary qualities to support the University, its outstanding staff and the next generation of leaders, entrepreneurs and professionals to achieve their ambitious and exciting aspirations.”

    The Video FramePlay Button Professor Susan Price, Vice Chancellor of Leeds Metropolitan, said: “We are delighted that Sir Bob is to become Chancellor of our University. Sir Bob shares our core values and is passionate about both education and making a difference to people in their communities. We are proud of so many things here at our university: 9 out of 10 of our graduates are in work or continuing their studies within 6 months of leaving us; we have achieved our best ever student satisfaction ratings this year, and our newly launched Research Institutes showcase our internationally recognised research, making a difference to real life issues such as men’s health and sustainable futures. Myself and my colleagues are really looking forward to working with Sir Bob and I know he will be a fantastic champion for our university.

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  1. 2012-2

    The opening of St George’s Park

    The FA’s national football centre, St George’s Park, was officially opened by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on 9th October 2012. Bob and his wife Sue officially welcomed the Royal couple. The Duke of…

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    Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

    Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, David Bernstein, Chairman of FA, Sir Bob and Lady  Murray at opening of St George’s Park

    The FA’s national football centre, St George’s Park, was officially opened by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on 9th October 2012. Bob and his wife Sue officially welcomed the Royal couple.

    The Duke of Cambridge opened the new £105 million training base in Burton-Upon-Trent, which was completed in July in his capacity as President of the Football Association.

    The new National Football Centre is a state-of-the-art training complex which boasts 12 full size training pitches, a multisport indoor hall, five gyms and the only FIFA accredited Centre of Medical Excellence in the country. The 330 acre site also includes two top class hotels, Hilton and Hampton by Hilton.

    Sir Bob was appointed Project Director for St George’s Park by the Football Association in November 2008 due to his wealth of football experience and his expertise in building world class football stadia and property development background.

    Sir Bob said: “I am thrilled that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge could join us to celebrate the opening of St George’s Park and to show their support for this incredible sporting facility.”

    “St George’s Park may have been a long time in coming but it was worth the wait. It is a masterpiece of design and function, merging high quality architectural standards with exacting operational demands. We not only have the most stylish football centre in the world but one that works on all levels and will deliver exceptional results.”

    England manager Roy Hodgson and his squad used the training facilities for the first time ahead of their 2014 World Cup qualification game against San Marino on 12th October.

     

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July 2012

  1. Academy of Light hydrotherapy suite

    Academy of Light awarded top status

    Sir Bob Murray was delighted when the Academy of Light, SAFC’s world class training facility, was awarded category one status, the highest possible rating under the new EPPP (Elite Player Performance Plan) system. The EPPP…

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    Sir Bob Murray was delighted when the Academy of Light, SAFC’s world class training facility, was awarded category one status, the highest possible rating under the new EPPP (Elite Player Performance Plan) system. The EPPP is a long-term strategy designed to take Premier League Youth Development to the next level and the rankings were introduced for the first time in 2012. Only a handful of Premier League sides have achieved the top ranking status to date.

     

    Academy of Light hydrotherapy suite

    “I’m thrilled that the Academy of Light has been recognised in this way and awarded the highest possible performance ranking”, he said.

    “The Academy plans were ambitious from the outset, originally including a full size indoor and hostel, because we knew how important the Academy would be in the long-term.  I know at times some supporters couldn’t understand why getting the stadium right initially, and then the academy was so important. But they were and are crucial if Sunderland is to compete successfully at the highest level for many decades to come. The stadium is the theatre, and the training ground is where we train and develop the stars.

    “The Academy is a world apart from the club’s former training grounds, the Charlie Hurley Centre that I had to personally fund for the club from my own resources  and which just consisted of 2 pitches and temporary buildings including a dilapidated pavilion; or the training facility I inherited in 1986, which was just a single field at Cleadon. In those days the players had to use the dressing room at Roker Park, drive to Cleadon to train and back again to shower afterwards. I can’t imagine any top players contemplating that these days!

    “Sunderland’s story is very similar to that of the national team. England faced the same challenges and they are the reason why I was asked to join the Wembley Board to help secure the funding and award the contract for Wembley, and later why I was asked to be Project Director for St George’s Park.

    “I feel great pride about the local players that have graduated from the Academy such as Jordan Henderson and know we’d never sold a player for £19m before it was built!”

    Commenting on the award of EPPP category one status Sunderland AFC chief executive Margaret Byrne added, “The Academy that you (Sir Bob) built has enabled our staff to work in a world class facility and strive for excellence. This is a massive achievement as we are recognised as one of the best academies in the country to develop footballers. It will also be worldwide recognition for our Academy.”

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2009

June 2009

  1. Take That spectacular lights up the Stadium

    Take That launch Circus Tour at Stadium of Light

      Take That launched their sell-out £10m Circus Tour in Sunderland and Bob didn’t want to miss the occasion; “It was fantastic to be part of another little piece of history and be at the…

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    Take That spectacular lights up the Stadium

    Take That launched their sell-out £10m Circus Tour in Sunderland and Bob didn’t want to miss the occasion; “It was fantastic to be part of another little piece of history and be at the first concert at the Stadium. The stadium looked amazing and the show was spectacular as billed.

    “It was an incredible  atmosphere and brilliant to see the stadium alive with people dancing and enjoying live music.  The stadium was designed to be a world class venue, to be distinctive and to put Sunderland on the map. It was built first and foremost to be a football stadium and an entertainment venue secondly but our plan from the outset was always to stage concerts and other major events at the stadium.

    “We visited the Ajax Arena when we were designing the stadium and ultimately chose the same contractors. After seeing Ajax we knew it was important to have the infrastructure in place for the future but it was also about establishing the right relationships from the beginning.  A number of people at the club worked really hard to make the case to bring concerts to Sunderland and convince the promoters to come here over many years. It didn’t happen overnight but it’s fantastic to see now and I congratulate everyone.”

     

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2008
  1. Sir Bob with the plans for St George's Park

    Sir Bob appointed Project Director for St George’s Park

    The Football Association had made a number of attempts to establish a National Football Centre from the early 70’s through to the 90’s but ultimately all attempts had failed for various reasons. The FA finally…

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    Sir Bob with the plans for St George’s Park

    The Football Association had made a number of attempts to establish a National Football Centre from the early 70’s through to the 90’s but ultimately all attempts had failed for various reasons.

    The FA finally purchased Byrkley Park, in the heart of the National Forest in 2001 and in the same year secured planning permission for the development of a National Football Centre. However, financial constraints meant that the development was again postponed in 2004.

    Due to Bob’s experience in the football industry and in stadia development he was asked to join the FA Board of the National Football Centre in 2008, as Project Director, to drive delivery of the project on time and to budget. As the only Director outside of the FA he was thrilled to accept the challenge. He actively sought the support of both the game and the nation to fund and build the national football centre.

    The FA’s Professional and National Game Boards gave their unanimous backing to begin construction of the £105m project at an announcement in London in November 2010. Work started on the 330 acre site close to Burton-upon-Trent in January 2011 and was completed on time and within budget in the summer of 2012.

    The centre incorporates state of the art educational facilities, medical facilities, sports science, a full size indoor pitch, hotel & recreation centre. The vision that saw Bob build the Stadium of Light and Academy of Light also focused on completing one of the most ambitious projects in world football. He said: “This world class facility will change the face of English football by producing quality home-grown players, coaches and managers of whom we can be proud”.

    Bob was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration from Leeds Metropolitan University in 2008, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to business in Yorkshire and the sports industry.

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2004
  1. Football Foundation

    Invitation to join the Football Foundation Board

      Bob was invited by the Premier League to sit on the Board of the Football Foundation in 2004. The Board had a budget of approximately £40m per year to invest in football stadia and…

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    Football Foundation

    Bob was invited by the Premier League to sit on the Board of the Football Foundation in 2004. The Board had a budget of approximately £40m per year to invest in football stadia and the scheme was inclusive to all clubs throughout the country.

    The scheme was introduced at a time when many clubs outside of the Premier League were still catching up with the Taylor Report and lots of stands were being closed down in need of modernisation. During Bob’s time on the Board it awarded approximately £100m to clubs throughout the country.

    In the same year Sunderland PLC de-listed from the London Stock Exchange. Bob later sold the club to Niall Quinn and his Irish consortium (Drumaville) for £5.7m in 2006.

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