William Hill: The Man and The Business

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This is the story of how a working class boy born into a family of 13 children in pre-First World War, Peaky Blinders-Birmingham grew up to revolutionise the world of betting and bookmaking. William Hill beat the odds by starting out as a teenage one-man band making the rounds of Birmingham’s factories, pubs and clubs on his second-hand motorbike taking penny, tuppence and tanner bets. He went on to launch a fixed odds football betting business which took a total of GBP6 18/6d in its first week,but grew to a multi-million pound turnover before being almost taxed into extinction. However, today, William Hill, whose first London office was opened in 1934, and staffed by just William and one clerk, is a truly global bookmaker, with offices in nine countries; operating across 19 time zones, is a FTSE 100 company, has over 2,500 betting shops and employs nearly 20,000 people.