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Killerwhales and Jack Petchey …

If nominated by members for achievement within the club, Killerwhales swimmers can benefit from up to six £200 awards per year from the Jack Petchey Foundation. “So who is Jack Petchey?” you may ask.  I haven’t seen him in my squad…..

Born in East London in 1925, his home was a happy one but provided few advantages or luxuries. From an early age he showed the entrepreneurial skills that have aided his success. In 1937 a 12-year-old Jack was prosecuted at East Ham Magistrates Court for working under age. The prosecution evidence was that Jack was carrying vegetables, i.e. tomatoes, the defence being that tomatoes were a fruit – not a vegetable. The case was dismissed!


Having left school at 14 Jack worked as an office boy before joining the Fleet Air Arm in 1943. At the end of the Second World War Jack left the Navy and became a clerk. He applied for a management position but was told by the personnel officer of his firm: “you’ll never make a businessman”! So Jack Petchey decided to go it alone.


With £60 to his name, he bought a motor car and founded his first Car Hire business. From there a thriving Car Sales business was formed. Jack eventually branched into property and in 1969 was introduced to the idea of a holiday complex in the Algarve, Portugal, which he still runs to this day.


By the 1990’s Jack Petchey had become one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Britain. Having just celebrated his 85th birthday, there is no sign of Jack Petchey slowing down. He currently manages Petchey Holdings Plc and Petchey Leisure, a management company for several holiday resorts in Spain, Portugal and the UK. In 1999 he asked Andrew Billington to set up the Jack Petchey Foundation, the main aim being to support programmes and projects that benefit young people. Many millions of pounds have now been given through The Foundation to youth projects in London, UK and the Algarve, Portugal. Since 1999, the Jack Petchey Foundation has given over £65million to projects and programmes supporting young people in London and Essex.


In 2004 Jack was awarded an OBE at Buckingham Palace, by Her Majesty The Queen. This has subsequently been elevated to a CBE in 2011

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