Top civic honour awarded to Leeds businessman

"The Lord Mayor of Leeds Cllr Tom Murray present the Leeds Award to Victor Watson CBE DL"

A local businessman who has served the city of Leeds with great distinction for over half a century has received a top civic honour.

The immense contribution of Victor Watson CBE DL, was recognised this month with the presentation of a ‘Leeds Award’ by the Lord Mayor Councillor Thomas Murray at a special ceremony held in the civic hall.

A former 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers after World War II, Victor joined Leeds based company John Waddington LTD in 1951, and was made chairman in 1977 until his retirement in 1993.

During his time at John Waddington, Victor played a major role in helping to develop the famous board game ‘Monopoly’ that the company made, which has subsequently become a firm favourite right around the world.

Outside of his work at John Waddington, Victor has also held a wide range of other posts in the city, including President and Chairman of the Leeds Chamber of Commerce, Director of Yorkshire Television PLC and Director of Leeds Holbeck Society.

A great supporter of education, charities and voluntary organisations in Leeds over many years, the 85-year-old is still Chairman of Governors at Gateways School after 25 years of service, a trustee of Martin House Hospice and a former President at the Northern Division of Mencap.

The honour of the Leeds Award, will sit aside a range of accolades already given to Victor during his illustrious years of service, which include a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Yorkshire Business Awards and an Honorary Degree, Doctor of Laws by the University of Leeds.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Thomas Murray said:

“Victor has made an enormous contribution to the city over many, many years, and it is fitting that his work has been recognised with a Leeds award.

“His enthusiasm and dedication is absolutely fantastic, and his efforts will leave a lasting impact not just in business, but a host of education, charity, voluntary and cultural organisations which he has actively supported in Leeds.”

Notes to editors:

The Leeds Award is a prestigious honour that recognises that there are many people, groups, organisations and teams that bring great credit to the City through their exceptional hard work and dedication.

Criteria for granting the Award:

• Awarded to those who change the life or lives of the people of Leeds.

• For those who perform an exceptional service to their community

• Precluded from the Leeds Award if previously recognised for the same service by a national award

• A person/team/group/organisation may not nominate themselves and, where appropriate, letters of support in addition to the nomination may be required

• If an individual is nominated by a family member, another independent nomination or letter of support must be received.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578
Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk