UK

Bernard Matthews dies: Your memories

Bernard Matthews
Image caption Bernard Matthews began his business with 20 turkey eggs

Bernard Matthews has died at the age of 80. The multi-millionaire, famous for his "bootiful" catchphrase, stepped down from the company's main board of directors in January.

The son of a mechanic, he was born in Brooke, Norfolk, in 1930 and left school at 16. He began his rise to prominence in 1950 when he bought 20 turkey eggs and an incubator at a market in Acle.

BBC News website readers have been emailing their memories of Bernard Matthews. Here is a selection of their comments.

Your comments

This is such sad news. I have such fond memories of being treated with the occasional Turkey Dinosaur as a child. To leave school with nothing but 20 turkey eggs and to achieve the success in business that he did is more than admirable. He will be sorely missed. Sammi Bull, Saffron Walden, Essex

He was also a marvellous host. I remember with fondness a couple of lovely afternoons as his guest with my friend and boss Malcolm Plummer, fly fishing on his stretch of river at of his lovely property near Norwich. I also remember the sheer panic from me and then laughter, in no small part from Bernard, as I reclined slightly on one of his dinner chairs one evening. There was a terrible crack as the back of the chair fell apart around me. Marcus G Hitchens, Holywell

My abiding memory of the Bernard Mathews Empire is of the appalling animal welfare standards revealed by undercover investigations. His empire is yet another example of animal welfare being sacrificed for human greed. Meg Taylor, Aberdeen Aberdeenshire

I worked for Bernard Matthews as the captain of his 46m charter motor yacht "Bernadette". I remember him as a tough but fair employer. On many occasions we dined together and I was always thoroughly impressed with his knowledge of food and especially French wine. We parted company after I managed to crash his boat into a dock in Great Yarmouth. However, years later he was able to forgive me when he asked me to assume command of another yacht. Don Dennison, Callian, France

Wizzler's and Jetter's. My kids were loved them. They are great idea for dads like me who are not the best cooks. The trouble was I liked them myself. They were 'bootiful'. Shass, Leicester

I knew Bernard for over twenty years. He had an inane business shrewdness combined with great charm and a lovely personality. His success and fame never went to his head. He loved his food and drink and lived life to the full without over indulging, and was proud of his company and employees who he valued greatly. We need more business leaders of his ilk. Stephen Pollock-Hill, President of British Glass, Broxbourne, Hertfordshire

Mr Matthews was an outstanding businessman and leader in his industry. I think he should have received a Knighthood for his work which provided employment for many thousands of people in the East of England and low cost food for everyone. Peter Collins, Hemsby, England

I fondly remember his adverts in the 80s and he has always reminded me of my late grandfather who loved the Bernard Matthews 'Bootiful' catch phrase. Although the company has had bad press with the whole Jamie Oliver and Bird Flu issues Bernard, as a person, always stood tall. Bernard you will remain Bootiful in the nation's heart. Boris, Ilminster, Somerset

Bernard Matthews is synonymous with everything that is wrong with modern farming. His methods brought cheap meat at a huge cost to the birds that he intensively produced in their millions. What a shame he didn't make his fortune from a less harmful enterprise. Oliver West, Salford

I am shocked by the sad news of the passing of a legend in the world of turkeys. I am sure this may come as a relief to poultry around the country, even though their fate is sealed this Christmas. Lee Collier, London

I worked for Bernard Matthews Foods in product development for three years. I enjoyed my time there and found it to be a very forward thinking innovative business with a strong brand, which ultimately suffered due to two or three major events in quick succession. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Matthews on several occasions. I even had a demonstration of how to cook sausages from him one day at the factory whilst I was working on a new recipe. He was a great British businessman. I hope his Company picks up and prospers once again. Chris, Bourne, Lincolnshire