Harding fortune goes to wife and mistress

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The Independent Online
The pounds 200m left by Matthew Harding, the chairman of Chelsea Football Club who died in a helicopter crash while returning from an away match at Bolton last October, is to be divided between his children, his wife and his girlfriend.

His will, published yesterday, makes no mention of the football club in which Mr Harding invested more than pounds 40m during his lifetime.

The inheritance will be divided according to instructions left with two executors, Mark Killick and Margaret Nugent. Their instructions are to include provision for his twin sons by his wife Ruth and for Ella, his daughter by girlfriend Vicky Jaramillo.

In the will Mr Harding, aged 42 at the time of his death, also names Jessica, Ms Jaramillo's daughter from a previous relationship.

The shareholders in his former business, The Benfield Group, will also benefit. Mr Harding organised a successful management buy-out of the company in 1988.

The will was witnessed by England football coach Glenn Hoddle and by a London taxi driver called Grant Davis.

It bears the date of 22 May 1996, exactly two months before the fatal accident in Cheshire which also killed four other men.

Chelsea FC may be left with financial problems if Benfield decide to sell the pounds 50m shares held in Chelsea Village, the company which owns the club.

Mr Harding also owned the pounds 16.5m freehold on the Stamford Bridge ground, in south-west London, paid out for the new North Stand, and regularly made cash available for buying new players.