Tony Bloom’s Multiple Sclerosis Story

tony-bloom-msThere’s a lot that has been said about businessman-investor and football club chairman Tony Bloom. He’s one of the more notable figures in the investment and sports world that his name has been attached to risks and success, in that order. But that’s not what we’re about to discuss today. We’re here to tell the story of Tony and his affair with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Multiple Sclerosis is a rare degenerative condition that affects the central nervous system. It’s a crippling disease that can prove difficult to diagnose given that their severity and symptoms can vary from one patient to the other.

What happens is the body’s immune system attacks the central nervous system. When a threat enters the body, it couldn’t differentiate them from the good cells and often end up damaging the nerves in the process. As this happens, the flow of information from the brain to and from the rest of the body is affected. Either the message does not arrive or it takes too long. For this reason, many bodily functions tend to fail for patients with MS.

To name some of the more common symptoms, there’s muscle spasms, muscle stiffness, numbness, vision problems, balance issues, memory loss, bladder problems, difficulty in moving one’s limbs, slurring, speech problems among others. Additionally, these can be coupled with several mental health issues such as anxiety and depression since MS tends to take away the ability to do the simplest of tasks from a person. As mentioned, the severity, frequency and combination of these symptoms vary from patient to patient. Others can have it worse. Some may experience them gradually and others all at once.

Despite today’s technological advancements, it’s one of those conditions that have no cure. There are treatments available but rather than remove the illness for good, it only works to lessen the impact of the symptoms, deter the relapses and prolong the life of the patient for as much as possible.

Tony Blooms wife of several years, Linda Bloom, who is an Australian-born psychologist has been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis more than a decade ago. She’s been at her worst state but has managed to recuperate and take control of her condition after years of treatment and a lifestyle change.

Linda and Tony Bloom sought to help other patients that they established the Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis (OMS) Foundation in 2011. They wanted to help them make better and informed decisions about their condition and that this battle is one fought together never alone.

5 Important Lessons We Learned from Tony Bloom

Britain Football Soccer - Brighton & Hove Albion v Wigan Athletic - Sky Bet Championship - The American Express Community Stadium - 17/4/17 Brighton and Hove Albion Chairman Tony Bloom and Chief Executive Paul Barber celebrate after the game Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Henry Browne Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  Please contact your account representative for further details.Brightonian investor, entrepreneur, philanthropist and football club chairman Tony Bloom has quite the spectacular resume. But like any other self-made man, Tony had his humble beginnings, his childhood dreams and what if passions. His success wasn’t achieved overnight. It’s an amalgamation of experience, grit, hard work, talent, persistence and risk.

Regardless of where you are in the world, your job or status in life, there are quite a number of lessons to learn from this man. We’ll take all day if we enumerate them all so today we give you five. Read up and discover what they are.

1.    Ask for what you want then have the courage to pursue it.
We all have dreams but not all of us are willing to put in the hard work and risk it. After graduating at the Manchester University and landing an options trading job at Earnest & Young, Tony left his corporate stint just a few years later to pursue his itch in business and investments. It was a risk but one worth taking and today he’s reaping the fruits of it.

2.    There’s a certain fulfillment to working on causes you strongly believe in.
In 2011, Tony Bloom established the Bloom Foundation, a charity with advocacies on poverty. He later co-founded the Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis Foundation with his wife Linda. To raise both funds and awareness for the cause, he ran the Brighton marathon twice, first in 2011 and in 2015.
3.    It’s never too late to go back to your childhood passions.
Football was something young Tony loved with a passion. He would often see matches of the Brighton & Hove Albion FC at the Goldstone Ground with his family. In 2000 and after success from his various ventures, he was able to invest in the football club and became a major shareholder. By 2009, he became chairman and accomplished groundbreaking projects such as the American Express Community Stadium and the American Express Elite Performance Centre.
4.    It’s okay if you don’t end up practicing your degree.
Tony was quite the good student. He finished a mathematics degree at Manchester University but only practiced it for some years at the accounting firm. But then again, there’s nothing wrong with choosing a different career path even if it doesn’t fall exactly in line with your university degree.
5.    Don’t let society dictate what you can or cannot do.
Tony Bloom’s road to success wasn’t one that came free of doubts. People questioned whether he could deliver but he proved them wrong. He listened to his dreams. He did not let others dictate his decisions. He chose them.

Football Facts from History Any Die-hard Fan Should Know

Football, or soccer to some, is no doubt the world’s most popular sport with the world cup amassing over half of the entire planet’s population as viewers. And of these people, a lot would bet on us that they’re a certified die-hard. Care to prove it?

We’ve listed down a few of the many football facts from our archives. If you’re the die-hard fan that you say you are, you need to know at least half from this list. Go on. It’s a dare.

  • A traditional soccer ball has a total of 32 panels which represents each country in Europe, the continent where it was believed to have originated and where it has gained initial widespread acceptance. It’s also not a perfect sphere but the panels create the illusion of such.
  • Earliest forms of the game got way out of hand easily. There were no rules, not even a definite set of players. At times, entire villages would play against each other with the goal of forcing the ball into the center square of the opponent. These often ended up in violence and chaos although murder and manslaughter were prohibited.
  • Soccer came from the abbreviation of “association football”. But it’s the British that coined it and not the Americans contrary to popular belief. In 1880 England, people used to shorten words and then adding “er” to the end (e.g. brekkers for breakfast). “Assoc” eventually became “assocer” before it became “soccer”.
  • The “Olympic goal” was coined after Cesareo Onzari of Argentina who was the first to score a goal directly from a corner kick in 1924 in a match against Uruguay.
  • The first soccer balls were made of an inflated animal bladder, often that of a pig. They were sturdy enough for the game and were easy to source. However, they can get worn out after a single match and their irregularity in shape makes it hard to control. Eventually, a leather skin was made to protect it. It wasn’t until 1855 that _38414379_149-0_300rubber balls were possible thanks to Charles Goodyear. He discovered vulcanization, a method of treating rubber so it becomes more solid and durable.
  • The highest score ever made in a soccer game was 149-0. It was an association football match in October of 2002 between AS Adema and SO l’Emyrne in Antananarivo, Madagascar.

So which of these football facts rang a bell?


Tony Bloom: Who is He?

tony-bloom5A lifetime seems like a long time but we can only do so much. As much as ticking off items in our bucket list are fun, we can all agree that at some point we don’t get to scratch all of them and that’s actually okay. But then again, we could also concur that there are people who fall under the category of overachievers. They have the tendency to be multi-hyphenates and such is the case for Tony Bloom.

Anthony Grant Bloom or Tony as his peers would call him was born in the 70s. He grew up in a football loving family. In fact his grandfather Harry was deputy chair to the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club. His uncle Ray was likewise a member of the board of directors. Their clan would even attend matches at the Goldstone Ground together and they’d go by train to see away games.

He spent his primary education at Lancing College before taking up a degree in mathematics at the Manchester University. By 1993, he was already an options trader at accountancy firm Earnest & Young. Even as early as this time, Tony has always been curious about business and investments. Soon after he left the firm and ventured out on his own. It was a pretty great move as his ventures proved successful, the businesses he set up succeeded and he was able to build his equity.

By 2000, he followed in the family’s footsteps and became a major investor and stockholder to the Brighton & Hove Albion F. C. By this time, he’s already the 3rd generation of the Blooms to be part of the club in a span of 40 years. In May of 2009, he bought out majority share and succeeded Harry Dick Knight as the newest and current chairman.

His first projects were nothing short of sterling. He first sought to end the 12 year run of the Albions without a home after previous chairman sold the Goldstone Ground in a bid to pay debts which eventually proved futile. Construction of the £93 million 30,750 capacity American Express Community Stadium began and was completed in 2011. It was followed by the construction of the fully equipped American Express Elite Football Performance Centre which opened in 2014.

Tony Bloom also set up two charities, the Bloom Foundation that helps alleviate poverty through various charitable activities and the Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis Foundation that seeks to assist patients suffering from the condition.

What Would You Have Done if You Were Tony Bloom

tony bloom celebrationAssuming you were born in the 1970s as Anthony Grant “Tony” Bloom, what would you have done by now? The British business magnate, successful investor, football club chairman and philanthropist have quite a long list of achievements at the age of 47 but it’s important to note that much of his successes began early on in life.

After his primary years in Lancing College, Tony went to take a degree in mathematics at the University of Manchester. After graduation, he worked as an options trader at accounting firm Earnest and Young, one of the accounting world’s esteemed “Big Four”. Eventually, he jumped ship and decided to scratch an itch: the entrepreneurial itch. It was during these years that Tony entered the world of business and investments where he proved to be very successful. Considered a risk taker, he had quite the talent when it comes to assessing which projects would likely shoot for success.

As much as business was an innate talent, football was something he was born with. It runs in his blood. He may be no professional athlete but he has been an undying fan for as long as he can remember. Born to the Blooms, a family of passionate Seagull fans, he considered watching matches at the Goldstone Ground with his relatives as one of the highlights of his childhood.

By the year 2000 and with his various ventures on a victory roll, Tony Bloom became a major investor and stockholder to the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club, more commonly referred to as the Seagulls or the Albions. Then as of May 2009, he bought majority share and came to succeed Harry Dick Knight as its newest chairman.

Although a man of a few words, unlike previous chairmen who gave lengthy speeches, Tony managed to deliver far more than what was expected of him. After 12 years without a base, he managed to bring the Seagulls home with the construction of the £93 million 30,750 capacity American Express Community Stadium which opened in 2011. On top of that, he also had the fully equipped American Express Elite Football Performance Centre built and opened in 2014.

In 2011, he also set up the Tony Bloom Charitable Trust, now the Bloom Foundation, which seeks to alleviate the effects of and end poverty in Europe, Asia and Africa. With his wife Linda, he also founded the Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis Foundation to help and assist patients suffering from MS.

The Link Between Health and Football

football ukHealth is wealth. This adage never goes old and is true in its entirety. But there’s more to being healthy and we know by now that involves a good combination of the right meals, rest and exercise. But that last one always seems to get people raising their eyebrows. Exercising isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but there are ways to do it that makes it fun. Take football for instance.

Football, also known as soccer in America, is the most popular of all ball games all over the globe. It’s been around for centuries with a lush and interesting history behind it. But that’s not what we’re here for. Today, we’ll all find out why this sport is not only fun but it also promotes a healthier body and lifestyle.

The sport helps improve one’s aerobic capacity and better cardiovascular health. An average player runs 7 to 9.5 miles per game. It involves a lot of cardiovascular workout from all the walking, jogging and running. This helps keep the heart rate up, strengthens the heart, reduces blood pressure, burns calories, helps resists plaque build-up in the coronary arteries and improves blood circulation to name a few.

It’s also known for reducing body fat and developing strong and lean muscles. As mentioned, it’s a great overall workout which burns fat and cholesterol all while building muscle. This is highly attributed to the constant need of players to switch between aerobic and anaerobic movements repeatedly. Plus, the movement required for the various parts of the body promotes overall strength.

Football also strengthens the bones. As we grow old, the skeletal frame tends to weaken and go brittle. But it’s not the same for athletes. The game exposes the bones to several and repeated weight-bearing loads during a match which over time fortifies it and helps keep and maintain bone density even as one ages.

It helps alleviate and relieve one’s unsteadiness and tottering. The sport promotes body coordination. Hand-eye coordination is one. The movements required to play the game requires a combination of complex movements. For instance, kicking a goal will not only necessitate movement from the foot but also of the entire body from the legs, to the eyes, to the arms that keep one’s balance. The more we play, the more the body gets accustomed to these movements thus improving our coordination. Health-wise this is great because we get to avoid accidents and develop faster reflexes.

What Tony Bloom does aside from Football

Tony Bloom, chairman of the Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club, is a jack of all trades. Apart from standing as the club’s “father” since 2009 after succeeding Harry Dick Knight on the chairmanship, he’s been juggling a lot of roles prior and even more so afterwards. Care to find out what they are? Here, take a look.

  • Business and Investments

With his degree in mathematics and stint as an options trader in accounting firm Earnest & Young, Tony has quite the background in terms of investments. With his take on smart ventures combined with his audacity in taking some of the biggest risks any entrepreneur could make, Mr. Bloom has successfully made himself one of the most profitable in his line of profession.

  • The Bloom Foundation

Earlier known as the Tony Bloom Charitable Trust, this foundation was founded in 2011. Tony together with fellow trustees Linda Bloom, Adam Franks, Marc Sugarman and Marcelle Lester had the same vision and that was to fight off poverty and end it or at least alleviate its effects especially in Europe and the developing countries in Asia and Africa. Since then, it has granted millions to various causes, projects, organizations and efforts that focus on health, education and training, livelihood and employment, food, water, safety, famine relief, overseas aide and community development among others. With its current headquarters in London, the foundation runs on voluntary pledges and donations and some investments.

  • Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis

Tony bloom overcoming msApart from the Bloom Foundation, the man also supports another cause. He is likewise a trustee to the OMS foundation, a charity set up by his psychologist wife Linda who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) more than a decade ago. The couple wishes to help patients with the same condition regain their life and make better informed decisions and lifestyle changes. MS is a debilitating disease that affects the central nervous system and disrupts the flow of information within the brain and the body causing an individual to lose functionality within their body.

  • Dedicated Father and Husband

Tony Bloom, despite his business and charitable achievements, it no doubt a dedicated father to his seven year old son and a loving husband to wife Linda. Despite his busy schedule, he is said to spend considerable time with his loved ones and likewise support them of their endeavors as they do his, an example would be Linda’s OMS foundation and the fact that Tony ran the Brighton marathon twice to raise awareness for said cause.

Tony Bloom’s Journey to the Brighton & Hove Albion F. C. Chairmanship

tony-bloom-albionIn May of 2009, Tony Bloom became the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club chairman officially succeeding its former president Harry Dick Knight. How that came to be is the story for today.

The professional association football club founded in June 24, 1901 and based in East Sussex in England, more popularly known as the “Seagulls”, currently plays in the Championship, the second tier of the English football league system. Its current squad consists of goalkeepers Niki Mäenpää, David Stockdale and Casper Ankergren; defenders Bruno Saltor Grau, Uwe Hünemeier, Lewis Dunk, Gaëtan Bong, Connor Goldson and Liam Rosenior; midfielders Dale Stephens, Beram Kayal, Jamie Murphy, Jake Forster-Caskey, Solly March, Danny Holla, Rohan Ince, Anthony Knockaert and Richie Towell as well as forwards Sam Baldock, Tomer Hemed and Chris O’Grady and is being managed by retired Irish mixed-race professional footballer Christopher William Gerard “Chris” Hughton.

Tony’s association with it began in 1970 at the time of his birth. You see, he was born to a family of Seagull fans. As a kid, he would often watch matches at the Goldstone Ground and would travel by train for away games with his family and friends. His passion for the sport and the club was nurtured at a very early age. As a matter of fact, his grandfather Harry was deputy chair to Mike Bamber in that same decade. His uncle Ray later on became one of its directors and investors by the 1980s.

Tony, born as Anthony Grant, went on to study at Lancing College. After which, he attended the Manchester University where he finished a degree in mathematics. By 1993, he was already working as an options trader at accountancy firm Earnest & Young. But perhaps business was really in his blood as he left the post not long after and went on to take various investments and business ventures.

His entrepreneurial undertakings were very eventful to say the least that in the year 2000, he managed to follow in his family’s footsteps. He became one of Brighton & Hove Albion F.C.’s major investors and stockholders. And as mentioned earlier, Tony Bloom became its chairman by 2009 after buying majority share and succeeding Harry Dick Knight. Perhaps his two biggest accomplishments lie in the two projects he helped finance: the £93 million 30,750 capacity American Express Community Stadium and the fully equipped American Express Elite Football Performance Centre.

Football Through the Ages

Football, or soccer to some, is no doubt the most celebrated and loved sport around the world. Sure, there are many others that rank high in the list but this ball game claims the top spot without a shadow of a doubt. How it came to be is a long and winding story but we’ll try to tell it in as best as we can.

Evidence from various sources prove that many versions of “kicking” games were already present in many of the early civilizations.

episkyrosIn China, military forces during the Han Dynasty enjoyed a game called “Tsu Chu” that involved a fur or feather-stuffed leather ball. The aim was to kick it into a small net fixed onto bamboo canes. Even Japan had an early version of it called the “Kemari”. In Egypt, the tomb of Baqet III portrayed images of women enjoying a similar game. Greece n the other hand called theirs the “Episkyros” where the ball was to be thrown overhead the other team.

It was not until the 700s when a version of the sport developed in Europe. Legend has it that after winning a war, locals of an east English town celebrated by kicking and passing the severed head of a Danish prince they defeated. It was a very violent act that often resulted in injury and commotion. But not long after, the practice was abolished and lost.

Historians however validated that early English townsfolk would play a game similar to today’s football. It often involved an inflated pig’s bladder, sometimes covered in leather, which was to be passed around without the use of hands. There were no official rules or number of players and the only objective was to bring the ball to the goal. It became so popular that massive numbers of people would come to play even in public places and roads. At times, the number of players would be so huge that the matches often end up in brawls.

Football became so popular that in the 1300s, King Edward II forbade it in all of England. He feared that people would lose interest in practicing and honing archery, something that would prove to be detrimental in the war against Scotland. Still, people found ways to play the game. It wasn’t until the 1605 that it officially became legal again.

It was only in 1848 in Cambridge, where the first formal rules about football were drafted. This involved the rules and standards regarding goal kicks, throw-ins and goalie’s rights. The rest, as they say, is history.

Tony Bloom’s Case Against Multiple Sclerosis

Tony Bloom LindaMore than a businessman, an investor and the chairman to the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club, Tony Bloom is a certified philanthropist. The causes he has supported and the foundations he has built are proof of that.

In 2011, he founded the Tony Bloom Charitable Trust currently renamed and known as the Bloom Foundation. This charity offers and provides grants to various causes and organizations that support similar objectives particularly in the fight against poverty and the relief efforts geared towards it.

But apart from poverty, Tony also fights for another cause and this is Multiple Sclerosis. About 15 years ago, his wife Linda who also happens to be a registered psychologist to whom he has a son with was diagnosed with the condition.

Multiple Sclerosis, often referred to in its acronym MS, is a degenerative neurological disease that affects the central nervous system. It causes major disruption in the flow of information within the brain and between it and the other organs. It is a disabling condition that causes mobility issues among others with some cases reporting paralysis.

What makes it particularly difficult is the fact that there is no absolute and definite cure and no known cause. It also presents itself in relapses that occur in intervals without exact consistency. Only 2.5 million or 0.3% of the entire world population is said to suffer from this condition. Moreover, symptoms vary from one patient to another making it hard to easily detect its presence.

Among its many symptoms include loss of sight and vision problems, fatigue, muscle stiffness, spasms, numbness of the limbs, dizziness, vertigo, bladder issues, speech difficulty or slurring, mood swings, depression and even complete paralysis.

During Linda’s initial months after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, Tony recalls her being in an awful state to the point that she could neither lift a pen nor stand up from her chair. With proper diet, a lifestyle change, self hypnosis, exercise, meditation yoga and the recovery program developed by Professor George Jelinek.

Linda has recovered since then and has full control over her MS. To help those suffering from the same condition, she built the OMS (Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis) Foundation with her husband Tony and other trustees from the Bloom Foundation.

In a bid to raise awareness and funds for the cause, Tony Bloom ran the 2011 and 2015 Brighton Marathons in the south coast of England which are held annually every April.