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2012

October 2012

  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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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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2002
  1. Sir Bob at Wembley

    Bob joins Wembley Board/Awarded CBE

      In early 2002 during his time as Chairman of Sunderland AFC, Bob was asked by the Government to join the Board of Wembley, the body governing the build of the new Wembley Stadium. At…

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    Sir Bob at Wembley

    In early 2002 during his time as Chairman of Sunderland AFC, Bob was asked by the Government to join the Board of Wembley, the body governing the build of the new Wembley Stadium. At the time the project had stalled and had no contractor or finance in place.

    Bob was invited to join the Board because of his extensive experience in property development and building world class stadia in addition to his football background. Wembley is now regarded as one of the best sporting stadiums in the world.

    Bob was also awarded the CBE for his extensive work in the North East community in 2002.

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1992
  1. HRH Princess Margaret with Sir Bob at the opening of Omega plc

    Omega PLC is founded

      Bob founded Omega PLC based at Capitol Park in Thorne, near Doncaster. The company is a brand leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of high quality fitted branded kitchen furniture, which it supplies…

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    HRH Princess Margaret with Sir Bob at the opening of Omega plc

    Bob founded Omega PLC based at Capitol Park in Thorne, near Doncaster. The company is a brand leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of high quality fitted branded kitchen furniture, which it supplies via independent kitchen specialist outlets across the United Kingdom.

    http://www.omegaplc.co.uk

    Omega PLC was successfully floated on the Alternative Investment Market [AIM] in April 2004. In January 2009 Omega PLC was successfully de-listed from the AIM market by way of a management buyout. Despite the economy Omega continues to be outstandingly successful.

    The company operates from a 315,000sqft purpose-built complex housing its manufacturing, distribution, trade showrooms and headquarters. This facility is located next to Junction 6 of the M18 at Thorne, near Doncaster where operations began in 1996.

    Omega’s purpose-built manufacturing complex boasts the very latest technology in kitchen production. Computer-aided design and computer-controlled manufacturing facilities work in unison to create an exciting range of modern and classic kitchens, together with the very latest innovations and design features.

    In 2000 Omega was named 2nd in manufacturing in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 awards and 11th overall in the country.

     

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1985
  1. Lawrie McMenemy and Sir Tom Cowie

    SAFC appoint Lawrie McMenemy

      “There are two things that should never have left Southampton, one was the Titanic and the other was McMenemy! When he [McMenemy] said he’d take the club out of the second division he succeeded,…

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    Lawrie McMenemy and Sir Tom Cowie

    “There are two things that should never have left Southampton, one was the Titanic and the other was McMenemy! When he [McMenemy] said he’d take the club out of the second division he succeeded, but in the wrong direction!”

    Big Mac’s appointment at Sunderland was big news and considered a major coup for the Chairman Sir Tom Cowie. However, he had gifted McMenemy a lucrative deal, probably the biggest in football at the time, and one that the club simply could not afford. Sadly, the euphoria that greeted McMenemy’s appointment was to be short lived.

    Despite having dropped a division, signing a host of experienced players and appointing a famous manager on a huge deal, the club faced a relegation battle for the sixth consecutive season and needed to win their final home match of the season against Stoke. The team won 2-0 and relief sent the home crowd wild and they demanded a lap of honour from the team and Manager!

    With the club’s overdraft rocketing, disastrous form on the pitch and a Manager that the club couldn’t afford to sack, Bob received an unexpected call from Cowie in August 1986 just days before the start of the season.

    “It wasn’t a call you could easily forget. Cowie told me he wanted out that day and I could have all his shares for £460,000. It was a now or never deal – he said you can buy them today but this is a one-time offer.”

    “I was deeply worried about the club and had seen Middlesbrough put into receivership by The Midland, the same bank we had. I thought with my experience and after 2 years on the Board I could do a good job and turn things around, so said yes!”

    Twenty four hours later Bob found himself owning a 46% stake in the club he loved and with the backing of the Sunderland Echo, that sold him their 5% stake for a golden guinea in a later show of support, he took control with 51% and became the majority shareholder and Chairman of Sunderland AFC.

    His first day in charge was a baptism of fire for the new Chairman when Cowie’s bankers [The Midland] immediately threatened to put the club into Receivership as it was 3 times over its OD limit. Bob was forced to personally guarantee the club’s overdraft and immediately inject a 7 figure sum to repay the excess borrowings.

     

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1984
  1. Sir Tom Cowie with Len Ashurst

    Bob joins SAFC Board

    Bob regularly returned to his native north east to go to Sunderland matches and had read about bitter Board room in-fighting. In 1983 with the club seemingly going backwards he finally resolved to contact the…

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    Sir Tom Cowie with Len Ashurst

    Bob regularly returned to his native north east to go to Sunderland matches and had read about bitter Board room in-fighting. In 1983 with the club seemingly going backwards he finally resolved to contact the Chairman to introduce himself and offer to help the club he loved. At the time, he had no thoughts or aspirations of joining the Board.

    Sir Tom Cowie and Bob finally met up during the 1983/4 season at Roker Park and Cowie invited him to come to a few games that season. “I remember if the result was a good one I also got invited into the board room after the match!” said Bob.

    With the power battle raging in the board room Sir Tom Cowie approached Bob again in June 1984 and asked him to join the Sunderland Board. Cowie sold him 5% of his shares and asked him to sign a personal bank guarantee for £50,000 to show his commitment.

    By the end of the 1984/1985 season Bob had been witness to more fierce board room conflict, had seen the team go to the milk cup final at Wembley and lose to Norwich courtesy of a bizarre own goal, watched the team free fall into the Second Division and had been delegated the job of sacking the Manager Len Ashurst.

    “As a memory goes it’s a strange one for me. I can vividly recall Len scoring a wonder goal as a fan. I remember being in line with him when he struck the ball from the Clock Stand to the Fulwell End to score against Newcastle. The next thing I knew I was being given the job of sacking him! I’m glad to say we’re still good friends today.”

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1978
  1. Spring Ram, the company Sir Bob co-founded in 1978

    Spring Ram is founded

      In 1978 Bob co-founded the legendary Spring Ram, one of the darlings of the Stock Exchange in the 1980’s. Initially based in an old mill in Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, the company targeted the…

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    Spring Ram, the company Sir Bob co-founded in 1978

    In 1978 Bob co-founded the legendary Spring Ram, one of the darlings of the Stock Exchange in the 1980’s. Initially based in an old mill in Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, the company targeted the evolving home improvement, kitchen and bathrooms market.

    The company was floated in April 1983 with a market capitalisation of £10 million. At the end of the first day’s trading Spring Ram was valued at £16 million.

    By 1989 the company, which had also moved into property had over 3 million square feet of freehold factory, production and warehouse space, 2,000 employees and profits in the region of £25 million a year with cash deposits of over £50 million.

    In 1989 Bob Murray resigned and within two years had founded a new company, Omega PLC. Omega is a brand leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of high quality fitted branded kitchen furniture, which it supplies via independent kitchen specialist outlets across the United Kingdom.

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1972
  1. Bob joins George A Moore

    Bob joined George A Moore, the kitchen manufacturers of Wetherby in Yorkshire in 1972 as Financial Accountant. His appointment had an immediate impact on the company and he was promoted 3 times in just 9…

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    Bob joined George A Moore, the kitchen manufacturers of Wetherby in Yorkshire in 1972 as Financial Accountant. His appointment had an immediate impact on the company and he was promoted 3 times in just 9 months.

    In 1973, at the age of 27 he was headhunted by Ladyship Industrial Holdings and accepted the position of General Manager of kitchen manufacturer Gower Furniture in Halifax, West Yorkshire. He progressed quickly within the company and was appointed Holding Company Director of the Ladyship Group in 1975.

    When the owner moved overseas and expressed a desire for an exit strategy, Ladyship was sold in his absence for £5.2m in 1978. After the sale Bob was determined it was the right time for a new business venture.

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1962
  1. SBM First Job Ransome & Marles page 1

    First job and move to Yorkshire

    In November 1962 at the age of 16 Bob got his first job as a Junior Clerk in the purchase department of Ransome and Marles, a bearing manufacturers located in Annfield Plain in County Durham….

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    Letter of appointment

    In November 1962 at the age of 16 Bob got his first job as a Junior Clerk in the purchase department of Ransome and Marles, a bearing manufacturers located in Annfield Plain in County Durham.

    He then joined Consett Iron Company as an office boy delivering mail and progressed to the wages department a year later before moving into the accounts department as a clerk. Bob now knew that he wanted his career to be in Accountancy and was very driven to succeed.

    He continued his studies at Consett Technical College and his work at evening classes paid off. He attained O-levels in History, Maths, English, Accountancy, Economics and Law, an A-level in Accountancy and an ONC in Business Studies before progressing to study Accountancy at Newcastle Polytechnic (now Northumbria University) on day release in 1967.

    Opportunities in the North East were limited and moving to further his career was inevitable. It was clear he would need to move away from his home-town of Consett to further his career dreams.

    He applied for a number of positions in Yorkshire and finally made the move south in 1968. At the age of 22 he successfully applied for a job as Assistant Financial Accountant at the head office of chemicals company Albright and Wilson in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

    He continued his day release and evening studies at Leeds Metropolitan University (then Polytechnic) where he qualified as a Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA) in 1972, aged 26 years. He was awarded a fellowship by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA) in 1979.

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