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From Danson Road to Abu Dhabi - Bexleyheath's Bernie Ecclestone sells-off Formula One for £6billion - find out about his local links HERE

PUBLISHED: 10:19 24 January 2017 | UPDATED: 09:57 27 January 2017

Bernie Ecclestone during practice at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire.

Bernie Ecclestone during practice at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire.

PA Wire

The former racing leader once lived in Bexleyheath

Racing tycoon Bernie Ecclestone’s four-decade reign over Formula One came to a close this week.

American company Liberty Media completed its £6billion purchase of sport and on Monday, Chase Carey was announced as the new CEO of the global sport.

The 86-year-old Ecclestone has been handed the honorary position of chairman emeritus, meaning he will be available as a source to the new board, but for the first time since the 1970s, he won’t be involved in the day-to-day running of Formula One.

Born in Ipswich in 1930 as Bernard Charles Ecclestone, the son of a trawler skipper grew up in Bexleyheath, living along Danson Road.

Now considered one of the richest men in the UK, the former Dartford student’s entrepreneurial streak first appeared as a teenager, buying and selling motorcycle spare parts.

He is now believed to worth around £2.5billion.

The so-called ‘F1 Supremo’ left West Central School in the town aged 16 to go work in a nearby gasworks.

From there he pursued an interest in motorbikes, and went on to have an early career racing around Brands Hatch race track in West Kingsdown.

After several accidents, he retired from the sport, but went on to briefly manage a team, before charting his rise through the ranks to lead Formula One as one of the most succesful sports worldwide.

Continuing his local links, the multi-billion pound man owns the west camp of Biggin Hill airport, where there is a hangar for his private jet.

“I’m proud of the business I built over the last 40 years and all that I have achieved with Formula One,” said Mr Ecclestone.

“I’m very pleased the business has been acquired by Liberty and that it intends to invest in the future of F1. I am sure that Chase will execute his role in a way that will benefit the sport.”

Do you have any memories of Bernie Ecclestone, or any other local celebrity? Let us know by emailing luke.may@archant.co.uk or by calling 01233 653479.

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