A FORMER Holytown man who went from being penniless to running some of Britain’s biggest companies has been knighted in the New Year’s Honours’ List.
Charles Allen has been recognised for his services to London 2012 as a board member of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Mr Allen lost his father at the age of 14 and the penniless family were forced to move into a council house in Holytown.
His mother got a job a a waitress in the directors’ dining room at British Steel and secured her son a place on the company’s management trainee scheme.
He went on to run catering group Compass, Granada TV, where he worked with current Prime Minister David Cameron, ITV plc and music giants EMI, and served on the board of Tesco.
As well as his role within the Olympics he is now chairman of Global Radio which owns Classic FM, Capital, LBC and Heart, and is a senior adviser to the investment bank Goldman Sachs.
Mr Allen said: “I have been privileged to have worked on the Games from the beginning and see this as recognition of the amazing work that thousands of people have put in to making them such a success.”