Cecil Duckworth CBE (born 1937) is the founder of Worcester Bosch and executive chairman of Rugby Union team Worcester Warriors. He also founded the Worcestershire Duckworth Trust, a Worcestershire charity that helps to relieve poverty and promote environmental conservation.
Personal life and career
Cecil Duckworth was born in Macclesfield, Cheshire in 1937. He moved to Worcester in the 1958 having secured a five-year apprenticeship with Redman Engineering. He qualified as a mechanical engineer in 1961.
Duckworth started Worcester Engineering Co Ltd in 1962. The company grew slowly at first until Duckworth introduced the first combination boilers in 1970. The popularity of his new type of heating system saw his business expand rapidly. He sold the company to the Bosch Group in 1992, personally earning around £30 million, though he remained with the company. After a year as president of the Bosch Heating Division Duckworth retired in 1996. He is recognised as being the first non-German to head an operation within the Bosch Group.
Throughout his career Duckworth has assisted education and health establishments in Worcester. He was a governor at Worcester Sixth Form College and a served as the chairman of the South Worcestershire Community Healthcare NHS Trust.
Duckworth owns the property group CD Developments and in 2009 was estimated to be worth around £40 million. He has been referred to in the Malvern Gazette as Worcester's "most successful businessman of the last 50 years". He published the autobiography Worcester Warrior in 2012.
In 2013 Duckworth was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for his charity contributions to the Worcestershire community. This followed the OBE he received in 2004 for services to the community and to rugby. He was awarded the status of honorary freeman of Worcester in 2008.
Rugby and charity
Having retired from Worcester Bosch in 1996 Duckworth had time to turn his attentions elsewhere. In 1997 he began his association with Worcester Rugby Club, at the time a struggling Rugby Union team. With his direct support as executive chairman backed up by significant financial investment the team quickly advanced through the leagues. Since 2004 Worcester Warriors - as they are now called - have played in the English Premiership having risen through six divisions since Duckworth became involved with the team. The Rugby Football Union appointed Duckworth to the "Image of the Game" task force in 2009.
Duckworth is involved with several charitable organisations, setting up the Worcestershire Duckworth Trust in 1998. The Trust aims to help relieve poverty in Worcestershire as well as aid conservation projects that enhance the environment around Worcestershire. He is also one of the original benefactors of Acorns Children's Hospice in Worcester and a trustee of the Wooden Spoon Society.
- "Trustees and Officers". Wooden Spoon. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
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- "Cecil Duckworth England". ESPN Sports Media. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
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- "Staff Directory: Board of Directors". WRFC Trading. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
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- "50 years – Half a century of warmth". Worcester, Bosch Group. 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
- "Cecil Duckworth to be honoured at special ceremony". Worcester City Council. 30 September 2008. Retrieved 5 October 2013.