Meet Britain’s richest man who wants Kipchoge to break marathon record [Photos]

By From the Standard (Source90 Tuesday, May 7th 2019 at 10:06 GMT +3 | Athletics
Sir Jim Ratcliffe sits down with Eliud Kipchoge [Courtesy]

The fastest marathon runner of all time announced plans for the record attempt during a visit to the track in Oxford where Roger Bannister ran the first sub-four-minute mile 65 years ago on Monday.

The 34-year-old Olympic champion has gained the trust of Jim Ratcliffe, who founded chemicals group INEOS and is estimated by London-based Sunday Times Rich List to be worth 21 billion pounds ($28 billion).

Ratcliffe spent the London Marathon earlier this month in the pace car watching Kipchoge win the event for a record fourth time.

He started from the bottom

Ratcliffe was born in Failsworth, Lancanshire. He studied chemical engineering and got his first job at oil company Esso.

He started making his fortune by mortgaging his house in 1992 to finance a buyout of a BP chemicals business, and formed INEOS in 1998. Today his fortune is valued at 21 billion pounds and in May 2018 he was named the richest person in the UK.

Get the latest sports news updates. Subscribe to our SMS sports service by texting 'SPORTS' to 22840.

He studied chemical engineering and got his first job at oil company Esso [Courtesy]

He’s a controversial figure

His firm INEOS is conducting exploratory fracking tests in northern England, which is essentially injecting liquid at high pressure into subterranean boreholes to force open existing fissures and extract oil and gas.

His company’s practices have come under intense scrutiny from environmentalists, who are worried by the long term effects of fracking, leading to protests against him and his company.

He supports Manchester United

On rumours he is interested in buying Chelsea, he said: “I’d never say no. But I don’t know where those conversations will finish up. Look, I am a big Manchester United fan. In fact, I am a tortured Man United fan at the moment to be honest.”

He supports Manchester United [Courtesy]

He already owns a football team

Ratcliff’s company INEOS owns Swiss football team FC Lausanne Sport, who currently play in the Swiss Challenge League, Switzerland’s second tier.

He purchased the team in 2017, and his first signing was Zinedine Zidane’s son, midfielder Enzo Fernandez.

He also owns British fashion brand Belstaff, and is planning to produce a successor to Land Rover’s discontinued off-roader Defender.