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Childhood pictures reveal humble origins of self-made online shopping tycoon

Pictures revealing the humble childhood of self-made online shopping tycoon Matthew Moulding who grew up in a house with an outside toilet can be revealed today by MailOnline for the first time. 

Moulding, who grew up in a ‘two-up, two-down’ near Burnley and was expelled from college for bunking off to visit his brother in prison, landed an eye-watering £830million payout after his firm’s share price soared this week.

In these exclusive pictures, he can be seen as a boy smiling shyly at the camera as he holds a dripping ice-cream, while seated in a deckchair in a modest back yard.

A second image shows a golden haired boy in a stripey t-shirt and dungarees  standing next to an older child in a matching outfit.  

Moulding, the son of a tarmac contractor, founded technology firm The Hut Group in 2004. 

Matthew Moulding scooped the huge bonus after setting up a hugely successful business

Matthew Moulding scooped the huge bonus after setting up a hugely successful business

The 48-year-old grew up in a 'two-up, two-down' in Burnley with an outside toilet

The 48-year-old grew up in a ‘two-up, two-down’ in Burnley with an outside toilet

He founded technology firm The Hut Group in 2004 and received what is one of the largest bonuses in corporate history after the company's share price rose to meet its target

He founded technology firm The Hut Group in 2004 and received what is one of the largest bonuses in corporate history after the company’s share price rose to meet its target 

Moulding considers himself a very private person with a tight circle of friends. Contrary to the party persona of his later years, he is still found watching his boys’ football matches at the weekend.

Moulding considers himself a very private person with a tight circle of friends. Contrary to the party persona of his later years, he is still found watching his boys’ football matches at the weekend. 

The 48-year-old owns 20 per cent of the business which runs more than 100 websites including make-up brands such as eyeko, Illamasqua, retail website Look Fantastic, and a series of luxury hotels.

Now he donates his £750,000 salary to charity, has given £10m to support Covid relief efforts, and a further £2m of PPE to frontline workers. 

Moulding considers himself a very private person with a tight circle of friends. Contrary to the party persona of his later years, he is still found watching his boys’ football matches at the weekend. 

His childhood was often difficult. The family was always worrying about where money would come from due to his father’s unstable, self-employed job as a tarmac contractor.

His father would buy a wagon full of tarmac from the quarry before heading to cold-call wealthy neighbourhoods to win jobs resurfacing people’s drives. He was often left with a load he couldn’t sell, which would go hard and be wasted.  

Moulding didn’t really enjoy school but despite being a bit of a loner, he ended up with a clutch of GCSES at grades B-D – enough to get into college. 

He was soon expelled, however, for missing too many lessons to see his brother who was in prison. He took a job in a factory making interior car parts, taking on 16-hour double shifts to make as much money as he could.

But his potential was spotted by his Economics teacher who wanted him to come back to college the following year, focusing on his clear talent for the subject and maths.  

Mr Moulding will only be able to actually sell his shares in March due to a 180-day lock-in period. Pictured: The tycoon with his wife Jodie

Mr Moulding will only be able to actually sell his shares in March due to a 180-day lock-in period. Pictured: The tycoon with his wife Jodie

Flashing the cash: Hut Group's founder and fitness fanatic Matt Moulding (above in red shorts)

Flashing the cash: Hut Group’s founder and fitness fanatic Matt Moulding (above in red shorts)

With two As and a B at A-Level, he won a place at Nottingham University to study Industrial Economics, the first member of his family to do so. 

His family home in Colne was brought for about £2,000 in the mid-1970s, and is worth about £145,000 today. Located beside a 100ft bus depot, it had an outside toilet at the time they moved in and no shower. 

 Now, his family has a fortune of £600 million, with the tycoon tightly controlling his vast empire through his iPhone, working long hours and drinking 20 shots of coffee a day – though he finds time to holiday with his wife and four children in the Maldives and Dubai.

He has confessed that for all his success, his childhood has left him with a fear of losing it all. He has never forgotten his roots and still returns to his school, he says.

He speaks to his ex-convict brother every week. His family has all been financially looked after over the years, receiving shares worth astronomical sums. 

His windfall came this week after his company hit a target that was set when it was floated on the London Stock Exchange in September, at 500p a share and with a value of £5.4billion. The share price is now 647.8p. 

The Hut’s float was the largest-ever ecommerce IPO in Europe, according to the London Stock Exchange, and the largest tech IPO ever in London.

The total payout from the scheme for Mr Moulding could hit £1billion if The Hut’s market capitalisation rises further to £7.25billion. 

Even if the current price were to remain as it is, Moulding’s pay day still dwarfs the £323million received by Denise Coates, the founder of gambling giant Bet 365, in 2018.  

The 48-year-old owns 20 per cent of the business which is best known for its MyProtein brand of fitness supplements

The 48-year-old owns 20 per cent of the business which is best known for its MyProtein brand of fitness supplements

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