Ballboy kicked by Eden Hazard is on Rich List with £40m vodka empire
24th August 2022

Ballboy who was kicked by ex-Chelsea star Eden Hazard reveals he has been named on Sunday Times Rich List aged 26 thanks to £40m vodka empire (but he IS the heir to a £65m fortune)

  • Charlie Morgan was thrust into football storm after being kicked by Eden Hazard
  • During 2013 match, Hazard kicked out at Morgan, then 17 and a Swansea ballboy
  • Hazard, then a Chelsea winger, was investigated by police who dropped the case
  • Now Morgan is a co-owner of luxury vodka brand Au Vodka with a school friend
  • His stake in the business, backed by DJ Charlie Sloth, thought to be worth £40m
  • Morgan is the son of hotel magnate Martin Morgan – himself worth around £65m 

A former ball boy once kicked by a Premier League star in a high-profile footballing controversy is now the boss of a multimillion-pound vodka firm – promoted by celebrities such as Maya Jama and Floyd Mayweather.

Charlie Morgan was thrust into the centre of a football storm when he was kicked by then Chelsea winger Eden Hazard during an ill-tempered Capital One Cup semi-final clash with Swansea in 2013.

Then a 17-year-old ball boy at Swansea’s stadium, Morgan appeared to delay handing over the ball after it had gone out of play for a goal kick.

He fell to the ground as Hazard attempted to get the ball from him, with the Belgium star, who now turns out for Real Madrid, then trying to kick it from under him.

Instead, he appeared to make contact with the ballboy’s midriff, and was shown a straight red card by referee Chris Foy.

Hazard was banned for three games for the incident. Police also got involved, probing the incident before deciding to take no further action.

Now, nearly 10-years on from the incident, Morgan’s life has taken an interesting twist.

Aged 26, he is a budding entrepreneur, who has been named on this year’s Sunday Times Rich List thanks to his £40million stake in a vodka empire.

Alongside school friend Jackson Quinn, 29, the pair run luxury vodka brand Au Vodka – a business they set up together in 2016.

Charlie Morgan was thrust into the centre of a football storm when he was kicked by then Chelsea winger Eden Hazard during an ill-tempered Capital One Cup semi-final clash with Swansea in 2013

Then a 17-year-old ball boy at Swansea’s stadium, Morgan appeared to delay handing over the ball after it had gone out of play for a goal kick

The vodka brand, which features a gold-plated bottle and usually sells for around £30 per litre, has been backed by stars including boxing legend Floyd Mayweather.

UFC rising star Paddy ‘The Baddy’ Pimblett and TV and radio host Maya Jama have also advertised for the brand, which is regularly promoted by its big-name investor, former BBC radio presenter Charlie Sloth.

However, Morgan’s meteoric rise is not a rags to riches story. Morgan is the heir to his father Martin’s £65million Morgans Hotel empire.

Morgan’s meteoric rise is not a rags to riches story. Morgan is the heir to his father Martin’s £65million Morgans Hotel empire. Martin is also a director of Swansea City F.C – where Morgan first came into the public eye as a ballboy

Martin is also a director of Swansea City F.C – where Morgan first came into the public eye as a ballboy.

Charlie’s business, which has a flashy Instagram page featuring celebrities and an array of gold-plated items, including a shiny branded Au van, began steadily increasing sales in December 2019.

But it began to take off last year when they started shifting 10,000 bottles of black grape vodka in a single month.

The firm’s latest accounts, as shown on Companies House, reveal profits of £10million for last year. 

And since then the company have upped their game on Instagram, with a series of flashy posts, including videos of a pool party featuring a giant gold Au bottle water feature.

Floyd Mayweather also features in a number of posts, following Morgan’s claim last year that he had spoken to the legendary boxer about the business.

Speaking to WalesOnline in 2021, he said: ‘We got a contact for Floyd – through a mutual friend of Frost the music producer – and we were told that Floyd absolutely loves the brand and loved the black grape flavour.

‘We were asked whether he could have few bottles before he goes home.

‘We said yeah, OK sure, and Floyd said he would post a photo on Instagram as long as we included him when we do something big in America.

The vodka brand, which features a gold-plated bottle and usually sells for around £30 a bottle, has been backed by stars including boxing legend Floyd Mayweather. UFC rising star Paddy ‘The Baddy’ Pimblett and TV and radio host Maya Jama have also advertised for the brand, which is regularly promoted by its big-name investor, former BBC radio presenter Charlie Sloth (pictured here with Morgan and Quinn)

Charlie’s (pictured) business, which has a flashy Instagram page featuring celebrities and an array of gold-plated items, including a shiny branded Au van, began steadily increasing sales in December 2019

But it began to take off last year when they started shifting 10,000 bottles of black grape vodka in a single month. The firm’s latest profits, as shown on Companies House, reveal profits of £10million for last year. Pictured: Charlie has shared pictures of himself from around the world

‘Back years ago we were asking ourselves, who would be the best ambassador we could have holding the bottle and I think our answer was Floyd, so it’s amazing how it has manifested itself.

‘Seeing the brand in the hands of someone you admire is crazy.’

According to the Sun, Au Vodka now produce 35,000 bottles per day, including a variety of outlandish flavours – some of which he says have not worked out.

He labelled a banana flavoured vodka that they produced as ‘particularly disgusting,’ the paper reports.

The success of the business now means Morgan features on the Sunday Times Rich List for 2022.

But he still remains behind his father, and even his old foe Hazard, who is thought to be worth around £85million.

Morgan said after the incident that he had spoken to the winger, who moved from Chelsea to Madrid for around £100million in 2019. 

According to the Sun, Au Vodka (pictured: Business partners Quinn and Morgan) now produce 35,000 bottles per day, including a variety of outlandish flavours – some of which he says have not worked out

He wrote: ‘Crazy 24 hours. Spoke to Hazard and I will not be pressing charges. Be in touch.’

The message went out to his 100,000 followers – up from 600 before he had his moment in the spotlight.

And while Morgan had a positive response, it was not shared by all, with many critical of his actions during the incident.

Ex-Chelsea star turned commentator Pat Nevin, speaking at the time, described the his behaviour as  ‘disgraceful’.

He added: ‘I was very, very disappointed by the way the ball boy acted, and I say ‘acted’.

‘He must have been watching footballers, the way he rolled around and pretended to be more injured.

‘He only has one job and his job is to go and give the ball back, and what did he do? He keeps the ball.’

‘I have to say I was absolutely amazed this morning to find he is 17, not 12, not 13.

Morgan fell to the ground as Hazard attempted to get the ball from him, with the Belgium star, who now turns out for Real Madrid, then trying to kick it from under him. Instead, he appeared to make contact with the ballboy’s midriff, and was shown a straight red card by referee Chris Foy

‘He should know what his action should be in that situation. His behaviour was disgraceful.’

Others criticised Hazard and Morgan. Former England striker Michael Owen said at the time: ‘I maintain my opinion from last night. How people can claim Hazard assaulted a kid is embarrassing. 

‘He shouldn’t of kicked the ball out of his grasp but he hardly booted the lad as some people were suggesting. 

‘The lads antics were scandalous and no wonder he isn’t taking any further action.

‘His Dad is a Swansea director so I’d assume this situation will be dealt with in the appropriate manner.’

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