Lewis Hamilton is the richest sports star in Britain, according to the new edition of The Sunday Times Rich List, to be published on Sunday (May 17). The 136-page special edition of The Sunday Times Magazine reveals the wealth of the 1,000 richest people in Britain in its 32nd annual edition.
Hamilton’s wealth is up £37m in the past year, thanks to a driving contract with Mercedes worth up to £40m annually with bonuses, and a string of lucrative endorsements. Now worth £224m, Hamilton is the most affluent active sports star in Sunday Times Rich List history. He overtakes David Beckham, who at the time of his retirement from playing in 2013 was worth £200m, jointly with his wife, Victoria. A contract extension that could be worth up to £60m a season is on offer at Mercedes, keeping him with the team until the end of the 2023 season. Last November, Monaco-based Hamilton won his sixth world title and there’s a strong possibility he will beat Michael Schumacher’s record seven world championships.
The only other sportsman to make the main Rich List ranking is golfer Rory Mcllroy. The Northern Irish star justified his $100m 10-year sponsorship contracts with Nike and TaylorMade with a return to the top of the world rankings in February for the first time since 2015. He won four tournaments last year and made the top 10 in 19 tournaments earning $24.3 in prize money. He also added another $3.5m this year, boosting his all-time on-course earnings to $52.2m.
Sport dominates the Young Rich List of those aged 30 or under, claiming 18 of the 50 places. Anthony Joshua stands out for two reasons. He is the only one of the 18 who has not made his fortune playing football and with a £58m rise in his wealth, he has seen the biggest increase in wealth in the past 12 months. Being beaten and bloodied in the boxing ring last June kick-started the most lucrative year of his career so far. Joshua earned £18m in Madison Square Garden despite being overpowered by Andy Ruiz Jr. It set the stage for one of the biggest rematches with Ruiz proving to be a poor opponent the second time round. A record 1.6m UK households paid £24.95 each to watch it live and he earned an estimated £60m from the fight before tax and deductions. Several endorsement deals add further to his annual income, leading to a fortune now estimated at £107m.
Gareth Bale, the Welsh forward who plays for Real Madrid is comfortably the richest footballer aged 30 or under with a fortune put at £114m. He has won the Champions League four times with the club and scored spectacular goals, but his seven seasons in Spain have been accompanied by frequent transfer speculation. With a salary of £350,000 a week after tax, there are few clubs in the world that could afford him.
Paul Pogba, in fourth place on the Young Sport Rich List, worth £50m, is one of five Manchester United players to feature. Injury has restricted Pogba to a handful of appearances this season prior to the coronavirus shutdown. Like Bale, he has also been the subject of a rash of transfer speculation. The other Manchester United players to make the Young Sport Rich List are goalkeeper David De Gea (£34m, 4=), Anthony Martial (£20m, 11=), Luke Shaw (£19m, 13=) and Odion Ighalo (£18m, 15=).
Robert Watts, compiler of The Sunday Times Rich List, said: “Being the best in the world at what you do is well rewarded in any business or profession. Sport is no different, as this year’s Sport Rich List shows once again. It is no co-incidence that Lewis Hamilton and Rory McIlroy – both no 1s in their chosen sports – are the only two sportsmen to make the main Rich List. Anthony Joshua, another world no 1, is not going to be far behind them after his huge increase in wealth in this year’s Young Rich List.
“On the face of it these sports stars are very different to the entrepreneurs and other business leaders who dominate in The Sunday Times Rich List. But the biggest names in golf, boxing, motor racing and football have that same capacity for hard work, discipline and sacrifice – that ability to keep pushing when many of us would take a breather.”
The 2020 Sunday Times Rich List – contained in a 136-page special edition of The Sunday Times Magazine – is the definitive guide to wealth in the United Kingdom, published on Sunday, May 17. It charts the wealth of the 1,000 richest people in the UK. The list is based on identifiable wealth, including land, property, other assets such as art and racehorses, or significant shares in publicly quoted companies. It excludes bank accounts, to which the paper has no access. The magazine includes several interviews and features, focused on some of the leading players and personalities among the richest 1,000, as well as a full ranking by order of wealth. The Young Rich List details the 50 individuals with the biggest fortunes aged 30 or under.
The Sunday Times Rich List is compiled by Robert Watts. The complete list will be available to the paper’s digital subscribers and will be online at thesundaytimes.co.uk/sportrichlist