Today, the grandson of one the Littlewoods pool brothers won a High Court battle with his sibling for a portion of their billion-pound family fortune.

The Moores family, heirs of Littlewoods founders Sir John and Cecil Moores, enjoy a fortune estimated in 2020 at £1.21bn, amassed through their football pools and mail order retail empire, and over the years have owned both Liverpool and Everton football clubs.

The empire was built from scratch by Sir John, aided by his brother Cecil, and was sold to the Barclay brothers in 2002 for £750m, leaving many members of the family with vast multimillion pound fortunes.

The grandchildren of Cecil were able to fight in court for a trust fund that he established more than 70 year ago, which he intended to benefit future generations.

Patricia Moores, Cecil’s daughter, was killed in an accident at age 86. It was the cause of High Court litigation involving her children.

Christian Velarde (63), her elder son claimed that their mother wanted Matthew, 61 to be removed from the fund as he was divorcing and she was concerned about his ex-wife making a claim for a portion of it.

Matthew agreed with Rebecca, and said he has a right to the third share. This is because Matthew’s mum made it clear that she intended to distribute everything equally.

Matthew won the High Court’s favor last year.

Christian refused to give up and today’s senior judge dismissed Christian’s appeal. Matthew will now be entitled to the Patricia Trust Fund, which is a third of the fund.

Matthew Velarde

The death of Patricia Moores (pictured), daughter of pools founder Cecil Moores, has sparked a bitter feud among her three children

Matthew Velarde (left), son of the billionaire family behind the Littlewoods empire, has won a High Court inheritance fight over the £40million fortune left by mother Patricia Moores (right)

Pictured: The £2m home of Patricia Moores in the Isle of Man which was sold before her death

Pictured: The £2m home of Patricia Moores in the Isle of Man which was sold before her death

Judge Ashley Greenbank, who was giving judgment, stated that Matthew had been found in Matthew’s favor by the previous judge, Deputy Masters Martin Dray.

Christian’s lawyer Penelope Reed, QC stated that Mrs Moores originally planned to divide the money between her children during the November hearing.

However, in 1997, during Matthew’s divorce proceedings she did a 180° turn and appointed Christian and Rebecca the beneficiaries.

Her 2007 final will which divided all her assets worldwide – except for specific gifts – between the siblings sparked the fight.

The estate was worth £40m at the time of her death, but that value did not include her entitlement to income from the trust fund, the court heard.

Christian received a broach of gold orchids with ruby center and matching diamond leaves, and Matthew was presented with a Cartier gold watch and a mother’s Russian gold three ring marriage ring. Matthew also got a three-strand pearl necklace featuring a large emerald clasp and two sets of diamond earrings.

Rebecca received an art deco diamond bracelet set in platinum, diamond and pearl earrings, a diamond fern and flower broach and a Leo medallion in gold and silver, while five grandchildren were also left specific gifts of jewellery, plus £1m to split equally between them.

The brothers were able to fight over a single clause in her will. The will states that she leaves the entire estate of her estate to Matthew Julian Velarde’s children, Rebecca Velarde, and Rebecca Velarde.

Pictured: Rebecca Velarde, who was involved in the High Court case over her mother's fortune

Pictured: Rebecca Velarde, who was involved in the High Court case over her mother’s fortune

Sir John Moores (pictured left in 1951) founded the Littlewoods empire with his brother Cecil

Pictured left, in 1951: Sir John Moores and Cecil founded Littlewoods Empire

Matthew explained that Matthew meant that she had cancelled her 1997 appointment as one of the beneficiaries of the trust for his siblings.

However, Christian’s appealed to Ms. Reed to argue that it was not sufficient and that she had to have rescinded the 1997 decision in order to add Matthew as a beneficiary.

She cited Christian’s evidence to show that Matthew’s divorce was the reason Mrs Moores removed him from the trust. However, there was also a general cooling of their relationship.

She told the judge that Matthew was going through a divorce at the time.

“That is the reason why this exclusion was made.”

Matthew was brought back as beneficiary by her will, she claimed.

“Our point was that there’s no mention whatsoever of the 1997 appointment,” she stated.

Continued she: “This clause [of the will]’It was not meant to be able to undo something that had been so thoughtfully considered in 1997.

Matthew’s lawyer Rodney Stewart Smith stated that Deputy Master Dray was correct last year when he ruled that Mrs Moores assets, including income, should be divided equally by the will.

Matthew would inherit one third of the multi-million-pound estate she left her. This did not mean that she was going to give up on him to keep his ex-wife from claiming.

Matthew stated that the divorce was over and all financial problems had been resolved by 1998. Matthew further said that his ex had remarried an ‘eligible’ woman in 1999. Matthew had not attempted to sue him.

Stewart Smith refuted suggestions of a mother-son cooling. He said that Matthew denies it, and that Mrs Moores was his only beneficiary throughout the residuary.

Patricia Moores twice said that she should take into consideration all of her assets worldwide and divide equally between her children.

Judge Greenbank gave Matthew victory today and said that he must convince Matthew that the decision made by Deputy Masters Dray was wrong or not just because of serious procedural or any other irregularity.

“I don’t believe that Deputy Master Dray’s decision was incorrect in the sense of not being sustainable. Therefore, I propose to reject this appeal.

According to the judge, evidence was taken into consideration in Mrs Moores’s two instruction letters.

He said, “Those letters are evidence of her intention that her estate be divided among her children in equal shares,” he added.

“I agree that the letters were not conclusive. It could be interpreted as Mrs Moores’ estate, which includes or excludes the Patricia Trust Fund.

“But, the deputy master didn’t treat them as determinative. I am satisfied with that the conclusion which he drew out of that evidence – at minimum, that it was consistent with Mrs Moores intention for Matthew to receive one-third of everything in her gift including the Patricia Trust Fund– was a conclusion that his right to draw.

“Having examined all issues in the grounds for appeal, I don’t believe that the decision made by Deputy Masters Dray was correct.

The decision means that as well as getting a third share of their mum’s £40m estate, Matthew is entitled to an equal share of the ongoing income from his mother’s trust fund.

Patricia Moores – who died at her £2m six-bedroom Isle of Man home, which was set in 2.8 acres, with a pool and separate staff quarters – had reportedly received £25m from Littlewoods’ sale in 2002.

Moores brothers built the company. Later, they were bronzed as statues in Liverpool.

In 1992, Business Age magazine, ranking Britain’s wealthiest women, put Moores family members Donabella Moores, Lady Grantchester and Patricia Martin in the top ten, with bigger fortunes than the Queen’s reported £100m at the time.