Keeping it in the family

Family act: Martin Heywood , centre, with mum Val and stepdad Dave who now work for him at seafront cabaret bar Viva
Family act: Martin Heywood , centre, with mum Val and stepdad Dave who now work for him at seafront cabaret bar Viva
Have your say

There’s a new father-son team at Blackpool FC and we don’t mean Owen and Karl Oyston. Paul Ince has already owned up to giving his star player son Tom a tough time when he managed him at Notts County.

He was “overly critical” to avoid allegations of nepotism. But how does it work for other father-son or family teams? Any tips for the top?

Celebrity skater Dan Whiston’s dad Bill runs the family carpet business on Devonshire Road and Dan helps out when free of other commitments. “Dan’s an absolutely fantastic lad. He’s hard working, always get stuck in, works really hard. He will never change.” Dan admits it’s a pleasure to help but harder on the knees than skating is.

At Lytham Brewery director Andrew oversees accounts, wife Julie works in sales, son James, managing director, is operational chief of the Lord Street, St Annes, brewery. Andrew admits: “I work for James. We rarely have a problem. It’s hard work, you put more into a family business. We respect each other. What happens at work stays at work.”

Anchorsholme based electrical and plumbing contractors Dugdale and Son was founded in 1939 by the late Edward Dugdale.

Son Malcolm now runs the operation, son Wayne is an electrical manager. Rhys Hempton, a general manager engaged to Malcolm’s daughter looks forward to joining the family. “We work well together but the secret is to know when to leave work behind. Malcolm and Wayne are big Man City fans so do father-son things together too.”

The Chance family takes no chances with the running of Britain’s definitive tribute show, Legends, which opens at Sands venue at Easter, ahead of the season proper from June to November.

Son Richard was 17 when he joined the business set up by parents Trevor and Brenda Chance. He’s now 33 and a TV and film composer. Brenda offers a mum’s perspective: “Richard came in as pianist-musical director, now he directs the show, designs the set, pretty much everything, leaving me and Trevor to mop up. He’s creative and that means we sometimes put the phone down, Trevor looks at his watch, counts back from 10, and at seven Richard calls back. ‘Sorry, mum!’ It takes longer as he gets older but he’s usually right.

“He brings things to the business that didn’t exist when we started. We respect boundaries. It was more difficult when we lived together and talked shop all the time.”

Martin Heywood, managing director of cabaret showbar Viva, has mum Val and stepfather David on the team. “When we got the licence after a battle I said this place will pay all our mortgages. I wasn’t banking on how much I’d owe them for hard work.

“Staff can walk out but families stick by you. Mum puts up with my moods, and Dave is always right - he’s my personal guru.”

Peter Murphy and son Howard, 25, run resort based music licensing company Amurco which supplies original licensed music to order from 100 composers to TV channels and major shopping chains in 16 countries.

“We supply licensed music to customers,” says Peter, 60. “My son started out as a songwriter and performer, but three years ago we got into music licensing and work well together.

“Howard will come up with a different angle which really benefits the business and relationship.”

Howard himself admits: “I like to progress and grow things, dad’s more laid back, has the business background. We argue now and then but give each other space and both want the same thing. Being father-son is a definite advantage.”

Retired MoD press officer Roger Goodwin owns Edwards dry cleaners, Kirkham, with son Bruce. They bought the business when Bruce, at 31, was diagnosed with progressive MS and had to give up his job in Manchester.

“Bruce still had a mortgage so going into business kept him active and fully committed,” says Roger. “However, we picked the start of the worst recession in 90 years.” Bruce, now confined to a wheelchair, manages the business, Roger admits: “I try not to interfere, just there to help. We see more of each other than we would otherwise and we get on well.” Bruce agrees: “We have a pick-up and home delivery round in south Fylde and sometimes I need him to drive me round the route.

“That’s a good time, we talk about all sorts, politics, about which he knows quite a bit, and sport, about which he doesn’t!”

Kieran Griffiths, who coaches Fleetwood Taekwondo sports team, says: “My nine-year-old son Brandon’s in the team.

“It gets a bit frustrating when they pull the dad card but the respect and loyalty between us makes us a strong team.”

Alastair Horabin of fish and chip empire Seniors says of dad Rick: “It’s incredible! He’s my best mate and role model in all aspects of life!

“Working as a partnership has made Seniors a success.”