I grew up on a Wigan council estate and now run multi-million pound Manchester property company

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A former Wigan rugby player who grew up on the Norley Hall estate is now leading one of Manchester’s largest property investment companies.

Ricky Murphy, who now lives in Ashton, said he is “a true example of not letting where you’re from define you.” The dad-of-one spent his whole childhood on the Norley Hall estate, and before starting his business he was a professional rugby player, which included a stint in Australia.

However Ricky gave up the game while still in his early 20s to make a complete career change. He said: “I wanted something that gave the same kind of competitive edge, and that was sales.”

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Ricky MurphyRicky Murphy
Ricky Murphy

He began working in a call-centre for the EE company, before co-founding the TK Property Group in 2019 at the age of 24. Ricky describes it as a “leading property investment brokerage that specialises in working with city centre developers in Manchester, to offer sales and marketing through our direct sales team.”

Although based in Wigan for the first five years, the company has now opened a new office in Media City and at present has 16 full-time staff.

Ricky added: “We will be a multi million pound turnover company this year after doing £1.3 million last year. My story highlights that coming from a poor background in Wigan, doesn’t mean your life is pre-determined.

Ricky Murphy, founder of TK Property Group Ricky Murphy, founder of TK Property Group
Ricky Murphy, founder of TK Property Group

"I grew up in Norley Hall and all my childhood playing rugby and that was the first goal and ambition. Growing up on a council estate has its pros and cons for sure. I attribute a lot of the drive and ambition I have to my upbringing on Norley as bluntly it drove into me there has to be more to be achieved in life.

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“Post High School I dropped out of college after two weeks at 18 years old and went to Australia on my own to play rugby over there and pursue that career further. But ultimately I realised that rugby wasn't going to be the long-term career for me due to not being good enough, so I had to make a decision.

"I had always had an interest in property but given no actual work experience I had to find a way into the industry somehow. My first actual job was a normal sales role for a company in Wigan before then applying and then being employed working for an online estate agent in Manchester for two years.

Ricky Murphy in his rugby playing days in AustraliaRicky Murphy in his rugby playing days in Australia
Ricky Murphy in his rugby playing days in Australia

"This gave me really good basics of the property industry and knowledge. At 21, I then had the opportunity to go back to Australia and play rugby which I did for 12 months, but always with the view I wanted to start my own property company before turning 25.”

Ricky joined forces with business partner Sam Fearon to create TK Property Group in 2019. He added: “In 2024 we are on track to be a multi million pound turnover business and are partnered on some of the most well recognised developments that are now changing the skyline of Manchester.

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“We also have partnerships in all other major UK cities such as Birmingham, Liverpool and London. If I ask myself what I attribute success to, it's having huge levels of ambition to be successful regardless of background and where you come from.”

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