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.

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.

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.

The Tony Bloom Charitable Trust

tony-bloom-foundation2There is more to Anthony Grant “Tony” Bloom than being an investor, businessman and the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club’s esteemed chairman. Mr. Bloom is in fact a philanthropist and has set up a foundation that has and continues to fight poverty all over the globe aptly called the “Tony Bloom Charitable Trust”.

Anthony has had a strong will to help others in ways that he can. By building and setting up this foundation, he has found a systematic and organized way of providing help by assigning and giving grants to causes that satiate the same objectives as his.

The charity has now been renamed as the “Tony Bloom Foundation” with the same four other trustees: Linda Bloom, Marc Sugarman, Adam Franks and Marcelle Lester.

As of 2015, the charity has reported 61% resource spending for charitable activities, 1% on governance and income generation activities with the remaining 38% retained for future projects and grants. To put it in specific digits, the Bloom Foundation has reported a £3.1 million worth of income from voluntary pledges and donations and investments as well as £1.9 million worth of spending on charitable activities, governance and investment management.

In order to provide relief and solution to poverty in target areas like the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia and Africa, the foundation supports and grants programs that focus on health, education, livelihood, employment, food, water, safety, famine relief, overseas aide, community development and other general and charitable purposes.

All of the above has been mentioned in the foundations’ charitable objects that read: “the prevention or relief of poverty in developing countries by providing or assisting in the provision of education, training, healthcare projects and all the necessary support designed to enable individuals to generate a sustainable income and be self-sufficient. To promote and protect the physical and mental health of disabled and terminally ill children and soldiers disabled or made ill by conflict. Such charitable purposes for the public benefit as are exclusively charitable under the laws of England and Wales as the trustees may from time to time determine.”

Anthony Grant “Tony” Bloom is truly a man of many things: investor, entrepreneur, chairman and philanthropist. Did you know that he also helps in promoting awareness and raising funds to battle Multiple Sclerosis? Well he does but then that is a story for another day.

The Tony Bloom Foundation’s office is currently located in #34 Jamestown Road, London, NW1 7BY.