YEN Top 10 – Yorkshire Rich List

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“Where there’s muck, there’s brass” is a well known Yorkshire saying and it’s true to say that the county’s ‘Wool Baron’s’ certainly made that phrase a reality. The textile industry may have faded, but the determination to succeed is still strong. Our Top 10 Yorkshire Rich List spotlights those among us who are the most driven.

#10 – Paul Caddick: £200 Million

Top 10 - Yorkshire Rich ListRetired British rugby player, Paul Caddick has a net worth of £200 million. His playing career was ended after he injured his neck when a scrum collapsed in 1980. Having started work as a site engineer in the 1960s, Caddick gained a degree in civil engineering and qualified as a chartered civil and municipal engineer. In 1979 he founded the Caddick Group, a civil engineering business in Yorkshire. In 1996 Caddick became the owner of Leeds CF&A, giving him ownership of Headingley Stadium. In 1998 he was instrumental in forming the world’s first dual code partnership when Leeds Rugby Union Club joined forces with Leeds Rhinos under the Leeds Rugby umbrella.


#9 – Malcolm Walker: £215 Million

Malcolm Walker began working as a trainee manager at Woolworths and founded Iceland as a sideline project in 1970 with a small shop in Oswestry selling frozen food, and a starting with a capital of just £30. Malcolm has only ever held three paying jobs, and was sacked by two them. After discovery of his side-business in 1971 he was sacked from Woolworth, but this provided the catalyst for the rapid expansion of Iceland into a national chain, which had employed over 22,000 staff members by the year 2000, across a portfolio of over 700 shops.


#8 – Shepherd Family: £253 Million

The Shepherd Family owns the ‘Shepherd Group’, one of the largest privately owned building groups in the UK with a turnover in excess of £600 million. The Shepherd Group can be traced back to 1890 when Frederick Shepherd (Who founded the Group) set up a successful building business in York. Growth through generations of the Shepherd family, via acquisitions and geographical expansions led to the formation of the Shepherd Building Group in 1962.

In the late 1970s, the Shepherd Group became one of 500 largest companies in whole of the UK. This was achieved without raising any public capital and the group remains an unquoted company. It has became one of the largest wholly family owned private companies in UK history.


#7 – John Guthrie: £260 Million

John Guthrie is the Chairman and Founder of Scarborough property group ‘Broadland Properties’, which in 2015, had a net worth of £239.8 million. He also has shares and stakes in other ventures, such as White Rose finance, which helps to bolster his annual earnings and overall net worth.


#6 – Dean Hoyle: £284 Million

Born in Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire, Hoyle founded the Card Factory, a chain of greetings cards and gift stores in 1997. By 2009, the company had over 500 stores and employed over 5,000 people. In April 2010, Hoyle confirmed the sale of the Card Factory for £350 million, but he remained with the company as a Non-Executive Chairman.

Hoyle is a lifelong Huddersfield Town F.C. supporter, even going as far as to join the board at Huddersfield Town in 2008. A year later he took over as chairman and majority shareholder of the club, though outgoing chairman Ken Davy still retains a minority holding.


#5 – Jack Tordoff: £368 Million

Bradford born Jack Tordoff started working as an apprentice mechanic at his family garage business from the age of 15. After the death of his father, Jack decided that he could make more money by trading cars, rather than just repairing them. Jack bought all the shares of Tordoff Motors Ltd with a £1,000 loan borrowed from his mother. With one showroom that housed standard and triumph vehicles, Jack built up his business for 44 years before his son (and current CEO) John Tordoff took over in 2002. However, Jack stayed on as the chairmen of JCT600.

Today, the company has 50 dealerships between Boston and Newcastle, representing 19 different makes of cars and a turnover of over £1 billion in 2014. Some of the car brands include Aston Martin, BMW, Ferrari and many more.


#4 – Paul Sykes: £690 Million

Born in Barnsley, Paul Sykes left school with no qualifications. Sykes would later move into the property market, developing industrial, office and warehouse properties in Wakefield, Salford, Leeds and Rotherham. Eventually, he would be responsible for developing the Meadowhall shopping complex in Sheffield, which was the largest shopping centre in Britain at the time.

Paul also formed the online B2B internet firm ‘Planet Online’ which was Britain’s largest internet service provider for a time, this was later sold to Energis for £85 million.


#3 – Sir Ken Morrison: £733 Million

Born in 1931, Bradford’s Sir Ken Morrison starting his business life helping his father’s grocery store while attending Bradford Grammar School. Morrison then served in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps as a National Serviceman. When Ken’s father fell seriously ill, he took over the management of the businesses. By 1956, he was the chairman and managing director of a small group of shops known today as Morrisons Supermarkets. From this humble beginning, he grew the businesses into fourth largest supermarket in the United Kingdom.

Morrison was awarded a CBE in 1990, and 10 years later was knighted for his services to the food retailing industry. In June 2006, Ken Morrison announced he would relinquish executive control of the company, which came into effect September of that year. After stepping down he took the role of Life President.


#2 – Lord Kirkham: £1.15 Billion

In 1969, Kirkham rented a room above a snooker hall in Carcroft, crafting furniture upstairs while selling it downstairs. By 1983, Kirkham bought Northern Upholstery (now renamed DFS) while had 63 stores nationwide and employed over 2,000 staff. In 1993, DFS was floated on the stock market and valued at £271 million.

Over the past few years, Kirkham became more involved in politics, become a strong financial supporter of the Conservative party. He’s estimated to hold a fortune of over £1.1 billion after selling DFS in 2010 for a reported £500 million fee.


#1 – Healey Brothers: £1.5 Billion

Malcolm Healey began his career working in in his family paint company with his brother Eddie Healey, before starting the Hygena Kitchens business, which he then sold in 1987 for a grand total of £200 Million. His brother Eddie started a DIY chain called Status Discounts after he stopped working for the family paint company. Status Discounts grew to have 63 stores in the North of England, and by the 1980s, he sold the company to MFI.

Most of the money made by Healey Brothers came after they bought a derelict site in Sheffield, which would later on become Meadowhall, the biggest shopping centre in England at the time. In 1999, they sold the shopping centre to British Land for £1.17 billion (a profit of £420 million). The Healey Brothers now share an estimated net worth of £1.5 billion as of 2014. Eddie Healey also was evolved on the developing ‘Centro’, Europe’s largest shopping in Germany.


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  • 11 Responses

    1. Alan Austin
      | Reply

      Would any of them like to buy leeds united and put us out of this nightmare r uf a couple of them clubbed together that would be great.

      Many thanks
      A long suffering leeds fan.

      • Connor
        | Reply

        Must be joking mate? These guys didn’t get rich by throwing money at clubs like Leeds United. There’s a reason you lot keep attracting madmen and corrupt bankers

    2. Mark
      | Reply

      Great stories here. Most of these people started the business personally and to some degree or other are still involved in the business today. It illustrates well to those that think they can start up, work a short period and sell for millions why they should not be in business. Starting a business and making it successful to any degree is a way of life. I’m sure they deserve every success and have sacrificed much also.

    3. OLM
      | Reply

      Leeds aren’t even the biggest club in Yorkshire. Hull Tigers are.

      • Azim
        | Reply

        I’d also argue that Shef Wednesday are bigger. Leeds fans living in the past..

    4. MallyHull
      | Reply

      Hull Tigers? Allam stop posting you muppet! The name change is dead and buried.

    5. Mr Hat
      | Reply

      I like flan.

      • Des Head
        | Reply

        Sorry about Mr Hat. He doesn’t like flan. 80% of the time he writes the opposite of what he actually means. Unless this is an example of the other 20%, in which case, he does like flan.

    6. Frances Day
      | Reply

      Its a shame there’s no women on that list, but maybe next year hey?

    7. Big Ed
      | Reply

      What’s this I hear about flan?

    8. Sir Ben of Cheshire
      | Reply

      Flan? Do you mean quiche? Commoners.

      The Healey’s wouldn’t touch Leeds with a tramp’s todge. They know they’d be skint in a week having to feed Steve Evans, The big fat greedy shirt front.

      HCAFC Yorkshire’s finest.

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