Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Twice He Was a Refugee, Now Dr Koukash Is a Millionaire

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Twice He Was a Refugee, Now Dr Koukash Is a Millionaire

Article excerpt

FORMER Salford Red Devils boss and racehorse owner, Dr Marwan Koukash, this week stared in an episode of My Millionaire Migrant Boss. In the Channel 4 show, he offered a two-week work placement to four jobless Brits. But who is Dr Marwan Koukash? And how did he make his money? NEAL KEELING reports.

CHARISMA was not something suave Dr Marwan Koukash was short of when he took over Salford Red Devils in 2013.

Flamboyant from the start - sunglasses, smart suits and fearless in expressing his opinions - he brought the club back into Rugby League's top flight. The self-made businessman defied an impoverished childhood to become a billionaire - but his spectacular climb to the top was not without graft and knockbacks.

Koukash was born on December 3 1958 on the West Bank in Palestine.

When he was seven his family farm was bombed and his mother walked him and his seven siblings for three days to sanctuary in Jordan.

On the way they were forced to hide in a cave outside his home village of Burin to shelter from aircraft attacks. He became a refugee for a second time when his family was forced to leave Jordan for Kuwait. Study was his way out of poverty and his father was able to send him, aged 17, to Liverpool to get an education. In 1976, he came to Britain after fleeing his homeland with £200.

He lived in St Helens, studying at the local technical college. He graduated from Liverpool John Moores University and progressed to get a PhD in electrical engineering.

To pay his way through university he worked as a waiter, mechanic, market trader and bouncer.

He taught at the university for five years, and was appointed director of international business.

In 1992, he set up EuroMaTech, a corporate training company - the foundation for much of his wealth.

Yet when when he first met local girl Mandy, now his wife, 26 years ago, she was managing the restaurant of a Liverpool hotel and he had hit rock bottom.

He told the Racing Post last year: "I'd lost everything I had, literally overnight. …

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