Byline: Louise Davies
KEVIN LEECH has been declared bankrupt, marking a remarkable transformation for a man once ranked the 17th richest in Britain.
The rise and fall of Mr Leech is a tale of a working class boy made good as a successful entrepreneur, who built a pounds 1.2bn fortune on the sale of his familyowned funeral parlour in Manchester.
But his entrepreneurial energy was evident long before he turned round his father's business. One of his first jobs saw him working as a debt collector. He would patrol the back alleys of inner city Manchester befriending the children of debtors so as to get into their homes through the back door. He would earn a 10pc cut of any money he recovered. He would also tour local pubs selling tubs of sea food to regulars.
Last week he was brought down by a debt to HSBC of just pounds 22m.