Pic The Times

Eliud Kipchonge’s world record breaking marathon in Vienna on Saturday was made possible by a Manchester-born billionaire.

The Kenyan long distance runner’s successful attempt to run the first ever marathon in less than two hours was financed by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the founder and boss of petrochemicals company Ineos.

Sir Jim is the UK’s 3rd richest man and estimated to be worth a cool £18.5 billion, according to this year’s Sunday Times Rich List. He was brought up in a council house in Dunkerley Avenue, Failsworth, before his family moved to Yorkshire. He now lives in Monaco.

Sports mad Sir Jim also owns the Sky cycling team, Swiss football club Lausanne, and recently completed the purchase of French football club Nice. A boyhood Manchester United supporter, he made enquiries about buying the club in the summer.

Sir Jim’s interest in building a rugged 4×4 to replace the Land Rover Defender could generate 10,000 jobs if he decides to manufacture it in the UK.

Ineos is a private company in which Sir Jim holds a 60 per cent stake, has an annual turnover of about £45 billion and employs more than 18,500 people at 181 sites in 22 countries.

The 66-year-old tycoon was fired from his first job after only three days and didn’t start his first business until he was 40.

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