Home Tags Posts tagged with "David Murray"

David Murray

The Transporter was the surprise of the auction
Pictures by Bonhams

It was an iconic team in its day. The Ecurie Ecosse was founded in 1952 by Edinburgh businessman and racing driver David Murray and mechanic Wilkie Wilkinson. Its most notable achievement was winning both the 1956 and 1957 24 Hours at Le Mans but it also raced in three Formula One races.

All of the vehicles sold by auction

All of the vehicles sold by auction

Now, eight cars from the British connoisseur Dick Skipworth’s collection have been sold by Bonhams for record prices. In all, they fetched some £8.8 million. The 1952 C-Type Jaguar sold for £2,900,000 while the 1956 ‘Shortnose’ D-Type sold for £2,600,000, both going to a buyer in the United States.

However, the surprise of the auction was the team’s three-car Transporter. Its an unique 1960 Commer TS3 with surprisingly a two-stroke engine. Although the picture looks like the Corgi toy, it was the real thing and sold to the same buyer for £1,800,000. It has become the most valuable historic commercial vehicle ever sold at auction.

James Knight, Bonhams’ Group motoring director, said that no-one had quite anticipated “the incredible atmosphere in the saleroom that saw so many truly historic cars go for such astounding prices.
“The Jaguars especially were exceptionally popular, and I am delighted that the transporter will still be carrying two of its original Ecurie Ecosse racing cars.”

<em>Picture: Peter</em>

Picture: Peter

By Stewart Weir

Saturday
In sport, there are those who win, and then there are those who win with a style, a bit of panache, and plenty of passions.

It’s the difference between being predictably good, and unpredictably brilliant.

You had it in snooker with Steve Davis and Alex Higgins, between Prost and Senna in F1, and in tennis, with Lendl and McEnroe.

It’s the same now. Many admire the ability of Federer, but many others love the way Nadal goes about his business. So it was the same in golf.

It was why, when others were winning more often, Arnold Palmer charmed a generation, and why Lee Trevino’s lack of conformity was so appealing. And definitely why even non-golf lovers would watch Seve Ballesteros, who sadly succumbed to his long battle with cancer on Saturday.

Others had won The Open by bigger margins, or with better scores. But when Seve did it in 1979 at Royal Lytham, probably no one before – or since – has taken such an unorthodox path to victory, playing from bunkers and rough, and even from walkways.

He even played out of a public car park. And yes, while I concede others have also done that, not many did it while holing for birdie at the 16th on their way to collecting the Claret Jug.

Five years on, and his fist-pumping salute to his own brilliance, on the final green at St Andrews will forever live with those who watched golf because of him.

Of another 70s superstar, it was said that while others played tennis, Bjorn Borg played something else. That could just have easily read for golf and Seve.

So the sporting world lost a hero, and Spain lost arguably their all-time greatest sportsman. The players of La Liga honoured his passing, as did Spain’s current sporting “matador” Rafael Nadal, who called him “irreplaceable” and “a pioneer”.

And other less-well known sportsmen also paid their respects. In the World Rally Championship, Mini driver Dani Sordo wore a black armband to acknowledge the passing of his countryman. It was a sad day for Spain and for sport worldwide.

So did the correspondent interviewing Sordo on Saturday morning really have to ask why he was wearing it. Or was his first thought that it was an aerodynamic modification or a go-faster stripe?

Sunday
Even after all the crisis, dramas, twists, turns and machinations, and still Sky Sports and the English Premier League manage to get a title decider game between Manchester United and Chelsea.

Well, the destination of the big prize was in little doubt after the flying start Javier Hernandez gave United. He is of course, nicknamed and known as “Chicharito” – Spanish for “Little Pea”. Of course, our own domestic game has been blessed with some Little Ps as well …

But a 2-1 win mean United need only one more point to secure the English league championship for a 19th time, so surpassing arch-rivals Liverpool.

Great manager that he is, on occasions you forget the magnitude of Sir Alex Ferguson’s achievement at Old Trafford.

But former Liverpool and Partick Thistle legend Alan Hansen went some way to summing it up, when he pointed out that when Liverpool reached the 18 mark, United were on just seven.

A measure of Fergie’s greatness, and just how far Liverpool’s standards have slipped.

Monday
How could I forget?

As promised several times, Rangers finally changed hands for the small matter of £52.5 million when Craig Whyte became the new owner, taking over from Sir David Murray. And just in the nick of time.

How many would have renewed their season tickets on the back of not knowing what kind of team Rangers might put out under Ally McCoist next term, especially given that Thursday was the deadline for renewal applications, while the new first team kit would also go on sale this week.

Those are big money earners for Rangers. So they could ill-afford the indecision to go on much longer.

And it could be quite a coup for Whyte. But the club one week, championship delivered the next. If that is the scenario, someone should maybe tell him it won’t always be that good.

Tuesday
It was an evening packed with emotion in Govan as Rangers beat Dundee United 2-0 to keep their charge for a 54th championship title on track.

Of course, it might have been different had United actually tried and made things more difficult for Rangers instead of just rolling over and laying down to the champions at Ibrox.

Please, that’s not an accusation, just an observation, albeit it one which is completely skewed given that in the closing minutes only a great save from Allan McGregor and the width of a post preserved Rangers’ lead and points haul. But you know how things must look on paper…

That aside, the final whistle brought the curtain down, or at least on that particular sporting window, for Walter Smith, in charge of his team for the last time on home soil.

In two instalments, Smith’s record with Rangers is enviable. And of course, it could become more so depending on what happens come “Helicopter Sunday”.’

It was fitting then that he took the applause and the acclaim from those who have supported him through thick and thin (or is it broad and narrow?) especially over the last few years, where his ability to make and mend have taken Rangers to the verge of a third-successive league title.

Afterwards, the masters apprentice Ally McCoist went out of his way to leave everyone in no doubt that Smith and co’s walk around the pitch was not a victory celebration or lap of honour, but all parties showing their appreciation of what was Walter’s Last Stand (even if the real one comes at Rugby Park on Sunday).

I can understand why it was done. During his first tenure as Rangers boss, Smith’s last day was disappointing and the ultimate anticlimax given everything that had gone before.

Even so, I am a great advocate of such gestures being left to the very, very end. Maybe it is because of some deep-seated scarring I suffered many years ago. I mean, I was one of those who turned up at Hampden in 1978 to cheer Scotland before they went to the World Cup finals…

Wednesday
And Motherwell will appeal owner John Boyle’s £2,500 fine imposed by the SFA after his fracas with Aberdeen boss and former employee Craig Brown in April.

Brown was censured for his part in the after-match scuffle after the game at Fir Park, while Boyle was fined and severely censured.

Obviously the difference between being censured and severely censured is in the wording. Something akin to being a bad boy, and being a very, very, very bad boy, who is also now £2,500 poorer.

As I said a few weeks ago, if you let club chairman away with such behaviour on the pitch (and what was he doing there in the first place?) you give any Tom, Dick or Hearts fan an excuse to do the same …

Thursday
The attack on Celtic manager Neil Lennon gave the SPL and Scotland the kind of exposure it doesn’t need. Only an idiot would condone such actions. Unfortunately, there are plenty out there, if you haven’t noticed.

What I did notice in an instant on Wednesday was the kind of coincidence that is a conspiracy theorist’s dream.

For just as the Jambo hooligan was entering the technical area (and the SFA will have something to say about that given what happened to a Mr Boyle of Motherwell), the video advertising boards were flashing up various plugs for BBC Radio Scotland’s output.

And as the cowardly thug tackled Lennon, what flashed up in the background but Your Call with Jim Traynor.

People pay top dollar for that kind of brand awareness. So well done to whoever bought up those hoardings for a live Sky game. What exposure and what impeccable timing!

Today questions aplenty are being asked about what this assault says about security, safety of individuals and Scottish society in general.

The biggest question for quite a few taking heads was: “Why Neil Lennon?”

Former Celtic striker Andy Walker said that he had “never known any figure to be so loathed, so demonised, so hated,” and that “we have to ask ourselves why that is”.

I’ve asked myself that one, although perhaps not with the same incredulity as some. Because I can see why some found Lennon’s actions, after the last (and I say that with some relief) Old Firm game when he cupped his hands behind his ears as if he couldn’t hear the jeering Ibrox hoards, as being antagonistic. Level-headed individuals – including many within the media – called those actions ill-advised. But they would have done so regardless of what individual had been involved.

Lennon saw differently. “It’s called humour, all right?” he said afterwards. (So he won’t be upset then at the “joke” doing the rounds that Wednesday’s events were the first ever example of the fan hitting the shit. That for some is also called humour.)

Similarly, I can see why calling into question the efforts of those playing Rangers – like Motherwell and Hearts – who lost 5–0 and 4–0 respectively might be enough to spark a reaction from management and supporters of those clubs.

Lennon said: “What we are looking for is somebody to compete and give Rangers a game. There has not been much evidence of that in their previous two games.”

He attempted to qualify that by stating; “I made an observation on the basis of results. I said there was little evidence in the 5–0 and 4–0 defeat, but that’s not an accusation, that’s more of an observation.”

So why Neil Lennon?

Because in many eyes he appears to have gone out of his way to wind up either the management or fans of other clubs, through words or actions. And I don’t think another boss in Scotland has done that. But that’s not an accusation, that’s more of an observation.

Of course, that doesn’t make it right to threaten or attack someone. That is abhorrently wrong. But some headbanging scumbags need little, if any excuse, to justify their actions.

Friday
Just 24 hours to go to the showcase game of the season in England. But unlike previous years, the FA Cup final has to share the billing with league fixtures, all because everything this year is geared to getting Wembley right for the Champions League final.

OK, Manchester United’s potential coronation at Blackburn, and the games at Blackpool, Sunderland and West Brom, will all conclude before the three o’clock start at Wembley. But the FA Cup final once had centre stage all to itself. Further proof, if it were needed, that the famous old tournament is now an afterthought behind the Premier League and Champions League.

Still, at least it is still live on terrestrial television, on ITV – except for viewers in Scotland who can see Thirteen Days, a tense political thriller starring Kevin Costner and Bruce Greenwood from 2000, a tale set during the 1962 missile crisis when the US discovered that the USSR was building Cuban missile bases.

1962 eh? Probably where someone’s thinking was when scheduling the SPL kick-offs for the same time.

Still, Sky viewers can always his Channel 993 for ITV in London, or if you don’t access English networks, retune using these instructions.

Or you could always watch St Mirren v St Johnstone in the “Battle of The Saints” which you won’t find on any of the religion channels – 580 to 598.

The Copa del Rey – a bit bashed <em>Picture: Erik1980</em>

The Copa del Rey – a bit bashed Picture: Erik1980

By Stewart Weir

Saturday
Semi-final weekend in the respective premier knockout cup competitions either side of the border, with one tie holding a slight advantage when it came to national interest. And you’ve guessed – it wasn’t Motherwell–St Johnstone.

On a day when Wembley was filled with the blue and red of Manchester, Hampden looked somewhat sorry only a quarter-filled – or, more noticeably, three-quarters empty – with the “hordes” from the shires of Lanark and Perth.

Motherwell deservedly won 3–0, with Saints ‘keeper Peter Enckelman the unfortunate recipient of the “Estate Agents Award”, presented to the man who did most to sell a semi.

But while Jamie Murphy and John Sutton scored crackers, you couldn’t help but notice the empty seats around Hampden, which raises the question – as ever – of why a match like this is ever taken to the National Stadium.

Want to discuss other issues? Join the debate on our new Scottish Voices forum

Justification for building it appears to be the only answer. Because with just under 12,000 deciding the big day wasn’t that big in reality, Tynecastle or Easter Road would have made much better sense.

In the south, City shocked United. The next day, Aberdeen and Bolton were just shocking.

Sunday
From Steeltown to Steel City. I know it began yesterday, but given that it lasts a mere 17 days, there was always going to be time to catch up with the action from Sheffield and the Betfred.com World Snooker Championship.

Saturday brought two big stories. One came before a ball was potted in anger, and was so big it even made the front page of the Scottish Sun. It was the collapse, or near-collapse, of 110sport, snooker’s biggest management stable and a twice-former employer of mine. Indeed, in healthier times, I once was a board director there.

It is a sad state of affairs, which is about all I’m willing to say on the matter as I am restricted for space, something that won’t be a problem when my tale comes out in book form. Take that as the first plug.

Damned or doomed, 110sport’s demise was of their making, nothing to do with events conspiring against them, bad luck, chance or fate.

And certainly not a curse – although the second big snooker headline from the weekend could fall into the category.

No first-time winner of the world title had ever successfully defended the title in Sheffield, hence “the Crucible Curse”. And as if by magic, or other powers we cannot explain, title holder Neil Robertson crashed out, beaten 10–8 by Judd Trump, who this year looks to be fulfilling the potential everyone knew he had.

Speaking to Stephen Hendry last week, he believed Robertson could have been the one to break that trend. But he also conceded that few, other than the person who returned the cup from the previous year, could appreciate the enormity of the task and the expectation around being champion – because regardless of who you are, what you’ve done or how well you are playing, all anyone wants to mention is the dreaded curse.

So the next first-time champ, whoever you may be, be afraid… be very afraid!

Sunday also saw Mandy Fisher, who founded the World Ladies Billiards and Snooker Association 30 years ago, resign as chairman, chairwoman or chairperson (delete where applicable).

Fisher, 49, began the women’s circuit in 1981 and her commitment has been the main reasons it has survived this long. That said, it has always been the very poor relation in the snooker family. While the winner of the world title (an event open to men and women) pockets a quarter of a million, ladies winner Reanne Evans won just £1,000 for retaining her world title in 2010.

“Mandy’s heart was always in the right place,” said former WLBSA secretary and tournament director Jane O’Neill, “[but] there were always the knockers.”

Which many give as the reason why women can’t play…

Monday
And still in Sheffield, Barry Hearn, the Don King of snooker, unveils announcement after announcement for next season.

A ranking event staged in Australia in July (on the back of Robertson’s success), a World Cup in Bangkok, a biennial event where Scotland will be defending champions (and holders since 1996 when since the tournament has been absent never mind bi-anything), and a new format for the Premier League as it becomes a World Snooker event,

Sky Sports will broadcast an event for the next three years, prize money on the circuit will rise to over £6m (although it was once above that) and there will also be the Brazilian Masters, with traditional rules, namely unwaxed balls…

Hearn did however threaten that he wants players to come forward to record a new version of the Chas ‘n’ Dave “classic” Snooker Loopy, which reached number six in the chart 25 years ago.

Who will step up? Hopefully not some clown.

I can also exclusively reveal the song might be revamped to include an instrumental halfway through, just in case Ronnie O’Sullivan doesn’t turn up for his verse.

Tuesday
And the sale of Rangers takes another twist after the club’s chairman, Alastair Johnston, questioned the ability of would-be owner Craig Whyte to fund the reigning Scottish champions to the level required.

Whyte has been reportedly trying to purchase David Murray’s 85 per cent stake in Rangers since last November, thus wiping out their debt with Lloyds Bank.

However, Johnston and some of his fellow board members also want to see money spent on the team.

“Based on the documents we have only been able to review within the last week,” Johnston said, “we are disappointed that they ultimately did not reflect the investment in the club that we were led to believe for the last few months would be a commitment in the purchase agreement.

“Given the requirement to repay the bank in full under the proposed transaction, there appears to be only a relatively modest amount of money available that would positively impact the club’s operations, especially as it relates to an urgent requirement to replenish and upgrade the playing squad.”

As much as he is disappointed, there isn’t a queue outside Ibrox willing to part with £30-odd million to be then told what they should and shouldn’t be doing with their money.

Indeed, there is only one other offer on the table – this sees Rangers FC being exchanged for an apple, a kite (in good repair), a dead rat and a string to swing it with, 12 marbles, part of a Jew’s-harp, a piece of blue bottle glass to look through, a spool cannon, a key that wouldn’t unlock anything, a fragment of chalk, a glass stopper of a decanter, a tin soldier, a couple of tadpoles, six fire-crackers, a kitten with only one eye, a brass door-knob, a dog-collar (but no dog), the handle of a knife, four pieces of orange-peel and a dilapidated old window sash.

That bid offer comes from a Mr T Sawyer, USA. Negotiations are ongoing, although they say there is nothing of significance in the last item listed.

On the field, Rangers ease past an equally dilapidated Dundee United 4–0. So easy was it that striker Nikica Jelavić had to amuse himself in other ways.

And this week’s competition is: from Paul Mitchell’s commentary, what would you pay good money for?

Wednesday
And as if nothing ever happened, Paul McBride QC will not now face legal action from the Scottish Football Association after expressing regret over recent criticism.

McBride had attacked the SFA after Rangers trio Ally McCoist, Madjid Bougherra and El-Hadji Diouf escaped further bans for their part the “Debacle of Parkhead XXVII” (as you can tell, there have been a few over the years).

McBride had represented Celtic boss Neil Lennon over his disciplinary charge and had accused the SFA of bias, publically stating they were “the laughing stock of world football” and “had been shown to be not merely dysfunctional and not merely dishonest but biased”.

Then he changed his mind, mentioning in his excuse note that he recognised “that offence has been taken to my remarks by the Scottish Football Association as an organisation, its council and its staff, and for that I express regret. I have a lot of respect for many individuals within the SFA…”.

What brought about that change of mind isn’t clear. Legal action, or of being reported to his bosses, who could say? Or did the threat of a parcel bomb just focus things a wee bit more?

I should say, I am not making light of what is a serious matter, and particularly dangerous series of events, least of all for the poor buggers collecting and delivering our post. But I’m surprised no one from the cry wolf brigade hasn’t commented on the potential of a conspiracy, given the Royal Mail have been entrusted with the safe passage of these unsafe parcels.

Terrorist officers from Strathclyde Police have conducted searches and enquiries into who is behind these threats, and have focused extensively on Ayrshire – where despite using ultra-modern and groundbreaking profiling techniques, they have been unable to track down the perpetrators as everyone in that area shares the same DNA…

Thursday
And in the wee small hours, Real Madrid return home from Valencia to triumphant scenes where the city celebrates their winning of the Copa del Rey after beating arch-rivals Barcelona 1–0.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s extra-time header gave Jose Mourinho his first trophy as Real Madrid coach. But it was more about what happened on the team coach – or, more accurately, what happened under it – that made this particularly memorable.

It brings back memories of other cup celebrations gone wrong, like the night in 1988 when Dean Richards and John Jeffrey took the Calcutta Cup for a walk down Rose Street.

Of course, Sergio Ramos will be reminded for evermore about dropping that cup off the bus.

But what is the best case of dropsy after a cup final? Steve Morrow, Arsenal’s League Cup goalscoring hero, takes some beating – or rather took a beating.

Friday
Two days to go to the final Old Firm game of the season and Strathclyde Police chief constable Stephen House believes everything from three league points, to the climate and a day off work could brew up mayhem in the west of Scotland.

“It’s a Bank Holiday,” House said, “it is the last meeting of the season – which is crucial for a result – and the weather forecast is hot. That means people will be drunk and they will get injured or raped, assaults go up and so does domestic violence.

“We do not see the clubs as the enemy. We do not blame Celtic or Rangers for the violence. The people who are responsible are those who use knives, fists or whatever other weapons on their fellow human beings.”

And I don’t disagree. I have seen the frightening aftermath of an Old Firm game first hand. But I’ve seen similar scenes throughout the country when there is not a Celtic or Rangers top to be seen.

Not meaning to trivialise in any way the concerns of some, but I do wonder on occasions whether all this reported serious crime is down to the factors the chief constable details, or the fact the same gentleman has vowed to put 1,000 extra officers on the streets.

More cops doing their job usually means more arrests and more frightening statistics. And more calls for more resources for more of the same and more overtime next time.

Want to discuss other issues? Join the debate on our new Scottish Voices forum

Sunday Times logoThe Sunday Times is to all but close down its Scottish operation, leaving just a handful of journalists to cover the country.

Rumours had been circulating all this week but yesterday the managing editor, Richard Caseby, assembled the newspaper’s 20 or so Scottish staff and delivered the shock news.

In UK terms, between 20 and 30 jobs will be lost from a total editorial workforce of 400. The cuts, which are the result of a management plan to shave the national newspaper’s editorial budget by 10 per cent,  are expected to result in savings of £4 million a year.

Sunday Times Scotland will bear the brunt of the cutbacks. After 22 years as a stand-alone product north of the Border, the newspaper will be reduced to a regional Scottish edition with a skeleton staff of just four – a reporter each for politics, general news and sport and a columnist.

The cutbacks will take effect by the end of next month. Among those facing the prospect of redundancy are Scottish editor Carlos Alba and Ecosse editor Joan McAlpine.

According to sources within the newspaper, which has a weekly circulation of around 64,000, owner News International will continue to publish Scottish content and Scottish supplements. Any drop in readership, it hopes, will be offset by the savings it makes.
However, with a staff of only four, a question mark must hang over the continuing quality of the newspaper which first launched its Scottish operation in 1988.

It is understood that the paper will now be produced from England with regionalised pages for Scottish readers.

The cutbacks are a response to growing losses at the Times and Sunday Times which, like most national papers, are suffering from the combined effects of the global downturn and the impact of online newspapers and the consequential fall in advertising revenue.

Last year pre-tax losses for the two papers stood at more than £87 million, compared with just £50 million the year before.

Once one of Britain’s great newspaper cities, Glasgow has seen that claim to fame dwindle over the years. The effective end of the Sunday Times Scotland as a full-scale operation is just the latest in a long line of closures. Since the heyday of the industry in the sixties, Glasgow has seen the disappearance of, among others, the Daily Express, Evening Citizen, The Bulletin and the short-lived Scottish Daily News.

Another newspaper with a short shelf life was the Sunday Scot. Established in 1991 by Jack Irvine and Steve Sampson and bankrolled by David Murray, the paper promised much and delivered little. It closed within a year.

Ten years before that Scotland got its first new Sunday newspaper in 60 years. The Sunday Standard, launched by the Herald’s owner George Outram, was well received and highly praised for its quality. However, a failure to secure advertising was blamed for its early closure.

The English Daily Mirror also attempted to publish a north of the Border version, in competition to its stablemate, the Daily Record. However, its brief existence came to an end in 2008.

JK Rowling: £519m in the bank

JK Rowling: £519m in the bank

By Allan Laing

Spare a sympathetic thought for Sir David Murray. His football club may have won the SPL title but his personal wealth has plummeted by almost 80 per cent in the space of a recession-hit year.

Mind you, all things are relative. The businessman who, for the moment at least, owns Glasgow Rangers FC, is still worth £110 million.

According to the latest Sunday Times Rich List, Sir David saw a massive £390 million disappear like snow off a dyke in the last 12 months. He is the biggest casualty of the UK-wide list, dropping more than 500 places from 88th to 596th. His Murray International Holdings’ business interests include steel, mining, venture capital and call centres.

Surprisingly perhaps, in these hard economic times, there are plenty of Scots – or Scots-based – tycoons whose fortunes remain beyond the reach of avarice. At the top of the list north of the Border is still Mahdi al-Tajir, the Bahrain-born former diplomat who owns Highland Spring and has interests in steel and property. His personal worth is measured at a staggering £1.5 billion.

Running him a not-very-close second is Sir Ian Wood whose Wood Group, based in Aberdeen, ensured his £962 million fortune stayed intact this year. He was followed in third place by the Grant and Gordon family, of whisky fame, with £900 million, and then Tory peer Lord Laidlaw, worth £730 million.

The bus business still delivers a tidy sum for Brian Souter and Ann Gloag, worth £610 million, while, despite the current travails of the newspaper industry, the DC Thomson family is still reasonably comfortable with £540 million.

In seventh place is JK Rowling, the only remotely non-business figure in the Scottish-based top ten. With a bewitching £519 million, the Harry Potter author’s bank manager has little to worry about. Her personal wealth will be done no harm with the opening this year of a Harry Potter-themed attraction at Universal’s Orlando resort in Florida.

The phenomenal success of the Potter movies has also been good to its young stars. With a cool £42 million, 20-year-old Daniel Radcliffe is ranked the fifth richest young Brit while his co-stars Emma Watson (£22 million) and Rupert Grint (£20 million) were placed 10th and 12th in the same section.

The last three places in the Scottish top ten are taken by landowner the Duke of Sutherland (£480 million), Edinburgh housebuilder Keith Miller (£385 million) and octogenarian car dealer Sir Arnold Clark (£377 million).

In UK-wide terms, Britain’s richest person – by a long chalk – is London-based steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal whose wealth has more than doubled over the year to £22.45 billion thanks to a recovery in the global steel market. This is the sixth year he has been at the top of  the list. He is followed by Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich, whose fortune has increased by 6 per cent to £7.4 billion. They are followed by the Duke of Westminster (£6.75 billion), Ernesto and Kirsty Bertarelli, whose pharmaceutical interests kept them with a fortune of £5.95 billion, and David and Simon Reuben, who have more than doubled their property and internet fortune to £5.53 billion.

If nothing else, the Rich List illustrates that, despite the difficult financial climate, there is still a great deal of money to be made for those who already have a great deal of money. The 1,000 richest people in Britain increased their combined wealth by £77 billion – to £333.5 billion – over the last year. That’s a rise of around 30 per cent.

The number of billionaires also went up – by 10 – to 53.

The richest person in the world, according to Forbes, is Mexican telecoms tycoon Carlo “Slim” Herlu who this year knocked Microsoft’s Bill Gates off the top spot with a £35.7 billion fortune. Gates remains a close second with £35.4 billion and investor Warren Buffett third with £31.3 billion. Lakshmi Mittal is the fifth richest person in global terms.

JK Rowling: £519m in the bank

JK Rowling: £519m in the bank

By Allan Laing

Spare a sympathetic thought for Sir David Murray. His football club may have won the SPL title but his personal wealth has plummeted by almost 80 per cent in the space of a recession-hit year.

Mind you, all things are relative. The businessman who, for the moment at least, owns Glasgow Rangers FC, is still worth £110 million.

According to the latest Sunday Times Rich List, Sir David saw a massive £390 million disappear like snow off a dyke in the last 12 months. He is the biggest casualty of the UK-wide list, dropping more than 500 places from 88th to 596th. His Murray International Holdings’ business interests include steel, mining, venture capital and call centres.

Surprisingly perhaps, in these hard economic times, there are plenty of Scots – or Scots-based – tycoons whose fortunes remain beyond the reach of avarice. At the top of the list north of the Border is still Mahdi al-Tajir, the Bahrain-born former diplomat who owns Highland Spring and has interests in steel and property. His personal worth is measured at a staggering £1.5 billion.

Running him a not-very-close second is Sir Ian Wood whose Wood Group, based in Aberdeen, ensured his £962 million fortune stayed intact this year. He was followed in third place by the Grant and Gordon family, of whisky fame, with £900 million, and then Tory peer Lord Laidlaw, worth £730 million.

The bus business still delivers a tidy sum for Brian Souter and Ann Gloag, worth £610 million, while, despite the current travails of the newspaper industry, the DC Thomson family is still reasonably comfortable with £540 million.

In seventh place is JK Rowling, the only remotely non-business figure in the Scottish-based top ten. With a bewitching £519 million, the Harry Potter author’s bank manager has little to worry about. Her personal wealth will be done no harm with the opening this year of a Harry Potter-themed attraction at Universal’s Orlando resort in Florida.

The phenomenal success of the Potter movies has also been good to its young stars. With a cool £42 million, 20-year-old Daniel Radcliffe is ranked the fifth richest young Brit while his co-stars Emma Watson (£22 million) and Rupert Grint (£20 million) were placed 10th and 12th in the same section.

The last three places in the Scottish top ten are taken by landowner the Duke of Sutherland (£480 million), Edinburgh housebuilder Keith Miller (£385 million) and octogenarian car dealer Sir Arnold Clark (£377 million).

In UK-wide terms, Britain’s richest person – by a long chalk – is London-based steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal whose wealth has more than doubled over the year to £22.45 billion thanks to a recovery in the global steel market. This is the sixth year he has been at the top of  the list. He is followed by Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich, whose fortune has increased by 6 per cent to £7.4 billion. They are followed by the Duke of Westminster (£6.75 billion), Ernesto and Kirsty Bertarelli, whose pharmaceutical interests kept them with a fortune of £5.95 billion, and David and Simon Reuben, who have more than doubled their property and internet fortune to £5.53 billion.

If nothing else, the Rich List illustrates that, despite the difficult financial climate, there is still a great deal of money to be made for those who already have a great deal of money. The 1,000 richest people in Britain increased their combined wealth by £77 billion – to £333.5 billion – over the last year. That’s a rise of around 30 per cent.

The number of billionaires also went up – by 10 – to 53.

The richest person in the world, according to Forbes, is Mexican telecoms tycoon Carlo “Slim” Herlu who this year knocked Microsoft’s Bill Gates off the top spot with a £35.7 billion fortune. Gates remains a close second with £35.4 billion and investor Warren Buffett third with £31.3 billion. Lakshmi Mittal is the fifth richest person in global terms.