Exclusive: The Croydon home where Philip Green started his rags to riches story

This shabby terraced house in Croydon is where controversial businessman Sir Philip Green spent the first years of his life.

The billionaire’s family lived above Thorogood Radio Ltd on Tamworth Road, where his father Simon repaired and rented TVs and radios in the early 1950s.

The address, now a Polish accountants, is a far cry from Green’s lavish mansion in Monaco.

Paint flakes from the stained white walls, and the Croydon tramlink rattles by the front door throughout the day.

Next door is the Steelpoint tattoo parlour, while just two doors away is a derelict Salvation Army Hall carrying signs for the Nigerian-based Vine Branch Church.

Just a stone’s throw away is Reeve’s Furniture Store, a Croydon landmark which was devastated during the 2011 riots.

The 66-year old tycoon was revealed yesterday as the businessman who had attempted to use his wealth to cover up allegations that he had sexually and racially abused employees.

Green paid five former employees large sums of money to sign non-disclosure agreements, and spent a further £500,000 at the Court of Appeal to prevent the media from reporting the allegations.

He was named by Lord Peter Hain in the House of Lords yesterday, using an archaic power known as parliamentary privilege.

The building’s occupiers said today they were not aware of Philip Green or the history of the building when asked.

Locksmith Mark Clare, 55, who owns the shop opposite, said: “I’ve been here since the 1970s, and I remember some of the older customers mentioning the television shop that used to be there.

“It’s really surprising to think that a billionaire businessman spent his first years just across the road.”

Green was born in 1952 to Simon and Alma Green, a Jewish couple who had moved to Croydon from Stoke Newington in the late 1940s.

Alma owned the first coin-operated laundrette in Croydon, and later amassed a considerable property portfolio in the area including car showrooms and petrol stations.

Although now known for his extravagant tastes – he spent £100million on a 300ft yacht called Lionheart – Green’s first job was working at his mother’s petrol station for tips.

The family moved from Croydon in 1956, but retained strong links with the area due to Alma’s business interests.

Now these few houses are some of the only original buildings on Tamworth road, which runs from Reeves Corner to West Croydon Station.

Many of the buildings were demolished to make way for the Centrale shopping centre, where, just a few metres from the shabby terrace he was born in, is a branch of Green’s Topshop empire.

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