After being bestowed the CBE in 2002 for his work in the North East community, Bob was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in November 2010 for services to football and education. His Investiture at Buckingham Palace took place in November that year. On receipt of his knighthood the College of Arms awarded Sir Bob Murray a Grant of Arms and accorded him the honour of a family crest. The Coat of Arms was approved by the Kings of Arms in December 2011 and was designed to reflect Bob’s life, interests, family and career.The black half panther is a symbol of his passion for Sunderland Football Club and is representative of its Black Cat mascot. Sir Bob invited supporters of the club to choose a new mascot in 1997, when it moved from Roker Park to the Stadium of Light.
The red and white wreath on his coat of arms depicts a lifelong love of the City of Sunderland and, of course Jersey, where he married his wife Sue and now lives. The red theme is continued in the mantling which reflects both Sunderland and Jersey.
Bob is very proud of his industrial heritage and north east roots and it is for this reason that he chose to include a colliery wheel as a fitting tribute to the coal mining tradition of his family and the region. The Stadium of Light was also built on the site of the largest former coal mine in Sunderland.
The red saltire behind the colliery wheel was incorporated in the coat of arms to emphasise the importance Jersey has played in Sir Bob’s life for nearly 40 years and his great love for the island, now the family home.
Yorkshire is also of great importance to the family. The White Rose County is the county of birth of his wife Sue, his two daughters Alex and Nicole and his son James and is represented in the coat of arms by the inclusion of a rose branch with four white roses between the forepaws of the black demi panther. Bob has been successful in business in Yorkshire since 1969 and remains so today.
Similarly, four black lozenge (diamonds), which appear in the Arms of Durham and are seen on the County Durham flag, are symbolic of Sir Bob’s love and pride for his own county of birth. The lion rampant holding a sword as appears on the Durham flag is also included at the foot of the Badge.
The motto ‘FORTUNE, INTEGRITY AND LABOUR’ was chosen by the family to convey their beliefs that ample amounts of luck and hard work, together with integrity, have helped them realise their ambitions and achieve success.
A helmet is only permitted in the design of a coat of arms for a Knight of the Realm and the Insignia for Knight and CBE. The Knight Bachelor’s badge and the circlet of the CBE are also featured in the coat of arms.