Worcester Warrior

Self-made multi-millionaire Cecil Duckworth arrived in Worcester in the 1950s with little more than two ideas for starting his own business. The first was a self-service petrol pump, but the oil companies told him to go away and come back later: 'You're ten years ahead of your time' they said. Cecil couldn't wait and went ahead with his second project, an oil-fired combi-boiler for central heating systems, still something of a novelty then. Despite many setbacks, he built up a successful business, Worcester Heat Systems, that was bought by Bosch in 1992. Cecil then turned his attention to Worcester and the city's rugby club in particular, taking the Warriors into the Premiership in 2004 when he was awarded the OBE for services to rugby and the community and made a Freeman of the City of Worcester in 2008. In his autobiography, Worcester Warrior, Cecil Duckworth tells the story of the many setbacks he encountered in the process of building up his business in Worcester, including the 1973 oil crisis and a fire that destroyed the factory in 1983. He also reveals how some of the leading rugby clubs attempted to prevent Worcester's rugby club from gaining promotion to the Premiership.