I went from Secret Millionaire worth £37m and starring in Real Housewives to living in a caravan with less than £100
A MULTI-MILLIONAIRE who once appeared on the Real Housewives of Cheshire found himself living in a caravan with just hundreds in his bank account.
Rob Lloyd, a businessman who once had a booming property firm worth £7 million, hit rough times after the 2008 market crash.
The 57-year-old, who also once appeared on Channel 4's The Secret Millionaire, built his old company, the Eatonfield Group, to heady heights that once put his personal net worth at an estimated £37 million, according to The Sunday Times Rich List.
But after years spent raking in millions Rob lost it all in the 2008 crash and was left destitute and living in a caravan.
He has since began slowly building back some of his vast wealth, and has embarked on a fundraising journey too, as well as being diagnosed with an incurable but treatable form of cancer.
He told WalesOnline: "I liked to earn a shilling as I call it – wheel and deal.
"As a kid I was particularly good at marbles. So I used to win all these marbles and then sell them back to the pupils at school. So that was the start of it."
He explained how after his dad scrimped for his top-notch education at private Rydal School in Colwyn Bay, Wales, he shunned uni after one year to become a chartered surveyor.
But it didn't quite scratch his itch, and he was desperate to be on the other side of the fence.
He said: "My first deal when I started Eatonfield was in Cardigan and I bought Canolfan Teifi, a four-storey development right in the town centre which I bought off the receivers. I paid £175,000 for it and a year later I sold it for £800,000.
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"So I think that was a start of the taste of making money."
Rob said he was driven by always wanting to do better and prove people wrong after a pal said he wasn't bright enough to become the CEO of a big company.
Thanks to hard work, good timing and a bit of luck, by his late 30s the businessman had an impressive portfolio and was making "huge profits".
Rob said the height of his wealth was a "weird" experience, leaving him without a care in the world.
He was able to whisk his family away on luxury trips and pumping fuel into his Bentley without even checking how much it cost.
In 2006 the businessman floated Eatonfield on the London stock exchange and the best estimates put his worth at a cool £37 million, which Rob says was "happy days".
He went on to splash £6 million on a racing yard, also purchasing four horses for a further £2 million and appeared on The Secret Millionaire in 2009.
But the 2008 had recession hit the business hard, with Rob describing the property market as "in complete turmoil".
By 2011, the company had racked up debts of around £26 million – the company couldn't be saved and it went into liquidation.
Rob was then was scammed out of £750,000 by a dodgy conman over a Bahamas business deal.
He said: "One minute, you've got all the toys, all the race meetings, and you're flying here, flying there. You're just living the five-star treatment and then, all of a sudden, it hits you.
"For just over a year I was living in the caravan and for that first year it was grim, cold and damp. The second year wasn't much better."
Rob explained he slowly managed to get back on his feet by doing the "odd deal" here and there.
"One decent property deal can get you back to where you need to be," he said.
And in 2017, Rob appeared on The Real Housewives of Cheshire, where it was revealed he was engaged to Ester Dee and had fathered her child, Bertie – although at the time she told her husband the girl was his.
Rob has since branded the situation "farcical".
He said: “She was with me and married to someone else. I’m so angry with this situation, it’s farcical.
“Out of this has come a beautiful little girl but the way I’ve been treated is terrible."
In 2019 Rob was also diagnosed with lymphoma.
He went to the doctors after struggling to complete the London Marathan in good time and having frequent nose bleeds.
He said: "I knew something wasn't quite right. Straight after the marathon, I'd never experienced anything like it – I felt so ill. I went to get a blood test and within 24 hours, I was in the cancer unit and then diagnosed with lymphoma."
His cancer is sadly incurable, but can be treatable – and he said he feels well at the moment.
And the thrillseeker has since embarked on a year of mad challenges in a bid to raise money for charity.
He has decided to take on a year of "Sense-less" challenges to support the charity, which provides care for the severely disabled.
It's the charity he had first raised money for with his marathon run.
The 57-year-old dad-of-four has so-far embarked on a skydive, SAS training, marathon bike ride and a running, walking and cycling grand-tour of Wales, raising £750,000.
You can donate to Rob's fundraiser here.
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