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Lucky John: From Teaboy to Chairman of a Multi-Billion Pound Firm Hardcover – 1 Jul 2004

3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Highdown (1 July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904317308
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904317302
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.6 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,440,895 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

'If you do just one thing today - go and buy this book.' -- Racing Post, July 2, 2004

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I was unfortunate enough to work for William Hill under John Brown in the mid 90s. Up to 1988 (when various shenanigans in terms of ownership of Hills began) Brown's story is significantly less interesting than the careers of many of my colleagues and ergo a waste of time. Thereafter it is an object lesson in dismal human resource relations, but goes a long way to answering exactly why morale was quite so horrendously low. I actually started reading at the chapter where Brown described Hills various rounds of trade sales and flotations in the mid to late 90s - which in itself would be quite interesting if it were not for the fact that the main subject matter for Brown is the various management bonus schemes based on the corporate valuations he managed to screw the owners for and therefore coined it. Most amusingly he then awards himself the credit for earnings growth despite admitting in an IPO roadshow that earnings are unpredictable and contingent more on current legislation than managerial skill. Well it would be amusing if it were not so offensive for the thousands of poorly paid staff - many of whose lives were made intolerable by this man's intransigent attitude to any reasonable requests to make their working lives better and hence hated Brown's guts - who have just had the affront of being delivered this self-congratulatory book in their shops.
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Format: Hardcover
The review from Mr.Collins is written from the viewpoint of a disgruntled employee and I accept his views without the background knowledge to agree or otherwise.

I read this book with a modicum of knowledge concerning Finance , Gambling , Horse-Racing and the Stock Market and note that the author used the services of the well respected, David Ashforth , in fine tuning this effort.

Most enjoyable true life tale of humble Tea Boy beginnings to become Chairman of William Hill. I expect he was ruthless in achieving his ambitions but who am I to be judgemental in this respect.
What I particularly like is the fine detail whereby he started work earning a pittance and graduated to millionaire status.

After having retired to a comfortable life style the book takes on a relaxed vein with particularly amusing anecdotes as regards race horse ownership and Sir Mark Prescott a leading trainer. Apparently Sir Mark an acknowledged major player is not sure regarding his Fees charged other than they are very expensive. Similarly he has not time to speak with his Owners rather than for 2 minutes on a Sunday morning by telephone on the understanding that he does all the talking.
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Format: Hardcover
Interesting read,but middle of book is very into quite heavy betting jargon and loads of figures. First part is good. Humble beginings etc, then man makes good. I found the last part when he went into horse ownership and his dealings with trainers the best part of the book. Well worth a read if only for the HR aspects.
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By mp on 18 Mar. 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
excellent - thanks
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