The “loyal and inspirational” workforce of the flourishing South Yorkshire-based kitchen company Omega has been praised by its founder and chairman Sir Bob Murray CBE

Launching his long-awaited autobiography, I’d Do It All Again, which is published this week, Sir Bob singled out the 400 staff at Omega’s Thorne factory for a special accolade.

Commenting on Omega Kitchens, which he founded in 1992, he said: “I am extremely proud of the success we have achieved at Omega.

“The 400-strong workforce there is inspirational and the loyalty and selflessness they showed to the company during the challenging period of Covid was exceptional. Their commitment to Omega will ensure the company’s future is bright.”

Shortly before the pandemic, Omega unveiled a major extension to its factory, which was opened by Sophie, then Countess of Wessex.

Sir Bob said: “This visit by Sophie, now Duchess of Edinburgh, was a major milestone in the development of Omega and underlined how important our company was to South Yorkshire’s economy.

He recalled: “The Duchess was incredibly gracious and took her time to tour the factory and showrooms as well as chatting with our employees. We were honoured that she could officially open Phase IV at the plant and unveiled a commemorative plaque.

“I’m particularly pleased that so many of our employees could enjoy celebrating this important milestone with us. We have a strong and committed workforce – 98 per cent of which are local to Yorkshire, and they remain our greatest asset.”

The success story of Omega is an important part of I’d Do It All Again, which is a vivid and very readable account of Sir Bob’s extraordinary career.

One of the most successful Yorkshire businessmen of his generation, Sir Bob is the former Chairman of Sunderland AFC and the visionary behind the Stadium, Academy and Beacon of Light, as well as playing a leading role in the development of Wembley Stadium and St George’s Park.

His story from the terraced and dust-choked streets of 1950s Consett to building a kitchen and property empire, from boardroom battles at Roker Park to the creation of the magnificent Stadium of Light in Sunderland. He has also been chancellor of Leeds Beckett University for more than 10 years.
And his tell-all book I’d Do It All Again reveals how Sir Bob became a suspect in the Yorkshire Ripper case after a false tip-off that the killer was from Sunderland with a Wearside accent. Sir Bob 77, who helped oversee the building of St George’s Park and a leading figure in the English game, was working in Yorkshire at the time and even believes his beloved aunt Sylvia unwittingly tipped the police off.

The Ripper case has also been put back in public focus with a new TV series launched this week focusing on the stories of the victims. Murray recalls in the book how, because of his North East accent, the police turned up at his workplace to interview him and it became “quite intense.” His father had also given him a hammer to keep in his boot to help change a wheel and that became an item of “significant interest.”

Sir Bob recalls it as an “awful time” before eventually Peter Sutcliffe was identified, arrested in Sheffield and then convicted. It was years later that John Humble - dubbed “Wearside Jack” - was convicted of the hoax which conned detectives.

This is just one of the extraordinary stories in Sir Bob’s most readable and inspirational book.

All proceeds from sales of this book will go to the Foundation of Light