He spent two decades as chairman of his favourite football club.
Now, however, Sir Bob Murray is ready to tackle a fresh challenge in the world of education.
Former Sunderland AFC chairman Sir Bob was yesterday (Jan 28) installed as the new chancellor of Leeds Metropolitan University.
Held in Leeds Met’s Great Hall, the installation ceremony began with a procession of 100 representatives from different parts of the university.
It was followed by a showcase of student work, including eye-catching music and dance performances.
The new chancellor was also given a civic welcome by the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Coun Ann Castle.
Businessman and philanthropist Sir Bob told attendees: “I am both astonished and thrilled to be here today.
“I hope my experience in business and lifelong focus on education will give me the necessary qualities to support the university, its outstanding staff and the next generation of leaders, entrepreneurs and professionals to achieve their ambitions and aspirations.”
Sir Bob’s links with Leeds Met date back to 1969, when he began studying accountancy part time at its predecessor institution, Leeds Polytechnic.
His early years in business saw him working at Wetherby-based kitchen firm George A Moore and Halifax’s Gower Furniture.
Sir Bob went on to co-found kitchens and bathrooms group Spring Ram, which was posting annual profits of more than £20m by the late 1980s.
He and his wife Sue, who was born in Leeds, have three children.
Sir Bob was chairman at Sunderland between 1986 and 2006.
* Leeds Met isn’t the only local university welcoming a high-profile new chancellor on board.
Horsforth-based Leeds Trinity University appointed TV presenter Gabby Logan as its first ever chancellor earlier this month.