Tim Martin (businessman)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Tim Martin
Timothy Randall Martin

(1955-04-28) 28 April 1955 (age 63)
Norwich, England
ResidenceExeter, Devon, England
Alma materUniversity of Nottingham
Known forFounder, Wetherspoon
TitleChairman, Wetherspoon
Spouse(s)Felicity Martin

Timothy Randall Martin (born 28 April 1955) is a British businessman, and the founder and chairman of Wetherspoon, a pub chain in the UK and Ireland.

Early life[edit]

Tim Martin was born in Norwich.[1] His father served in the Royal Air Force and then worked for brewing multinational Guinness plc and became Malaysian marketing director. Martin was educated at eleven different schools in New Zealand and then Northern Ireland, including Campbell College in Belfast.[2][3]

He studied law at the University of Nottingham,[2] and qualified as a barrister in 1979, but never practised law.[4]


His early jobs included work on a construction site in Ware,[2] and acting as a sales representative for The Times.[3]

Martin is the founder and chairman of Wetherspoon.[1] He bought his first pub, in Muswell Hill, in 1979.[1] His brother Gerry also ran a pub chain, Old Monk, which was listed in 1998 but went out of business in 2002.[4]

In 2005, Martin was voted the fifth most influential person in the UK pub industry.[5] He is an admirer of Sam Walton's business philosophy.[6] He visits at least 15 Wetherspoon outlets each week.[7]

As of 2012, Martin owned 26.6% of the company.[8]


Martin is a lobbyist for a no-deal Brexit, representing these views for journalists and on political TV shows such as BBC Politics Live and Sky News.[9][10] In 2016 Martin donated £200,000 to the Vote Leave campaign.[11]

In January 2017, Wetherspoons published figures showing an increase in sales of more than 3 percent. Martin used this as evidence that there was no post-Brexit referendum slowdown as predicted by economists.[12]

In June 2018, Martin announced that Wetherspoon would be ceasing the sale of non-British European products in a 24-month plan, with the immediate example of Prosecco and Champagne being replaced by non-European wines.[13][14]

Personal life[edit]

Martin is married to Felicity, whom he met while at university; they have four children, and live in Exeter, Devon.[2][15][4]


  1. ^ a b c Andrew Clark. "Interview: Tim Martin, chairman, JD Wetherspoon | Business". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d The Real Pub Landlord The Observer, 3 March 2002
  3. ^ a b The giant of the pub world The Times, 8 February 2009
  4. ^ a b c Chris Blackhurst (30 January 2005). "Meet Britain's unlikeliest tycoon". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  5. ^ "Catering & Hospitality News". Caterer Search. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  6. ^ "UK: BOOKS - The book that shook TIM MARTIN". managementtoday.co.uk.
  7. ^ "JDW's Tim Martin: Only here for the beer". Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  8. ^ Neville, Simon (18 May 2012). "JD Wetherspoon boss buys £2.5m of shares". The Guardian. London.
  9. ^ Porritt, Richard. "Wetherspoons boss makes bonkers '£600 hard Brexit windfall' claim".
  10. ^ Drake, Matt (12 September 2018). "Wetherspoon boss and Brexiteer Tim Martin SCRAPS EU booze as he touts Brexit benefits".
  11. ^ "JDW boss Tim Martin gives £200,000 to Brexit campaign".
  12. ^ Ambrose, Jillian (4 October 2018). "Wetherspoons boss slams economists' post-Brexit gloom as pub sales climb" – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  13. ^ "Wetherspoon to stop selling champagne". 13 June 2018 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  14. ^ Bernhardt, Jack (14 June 2018). "No more Wetherspoons champagne after Brexit. It doesn't go with gammon anyway - Jack Bernhardt". the Guardian.
  15. ^ Hilary Clarke (10 January 1999). "Interview: Barrister who was called to the bar". The Independent. Retrieved 19 June 2017.