A footy fan from Teesside has turned his hobby of collecting football shirts into a thriving business with orders now flooding in from customers around the globe.

Jack Adams, who is 30 and lives in Wynyard, has seen his business grow steadily, despite starting it during the Covid pandemic, and has now moved Footballshirtsjack into a workshop and office unit in UKSE’s Innovation Centre at Hartlepool.

The huge range of shirts he sells covers hundreds of different teams world-wide and is selling to customers in Malaysia, South Korea, Germany, France, South American and Chile as well as the UK.

The shirts range in price from £30 for new items to hundreds of pounds for rare and vintage shirts covering home and international teams, premier league clubs, World Cup and European teams.   Jack specialises in sourcing obscure shirts that have included a rare Brazil 1986-1988 home shirt and a South African Premier League shirt.

“A rare Juventus shirt at £200  just flew off the shelf recently,” he said.  “Collectors can simply be fans of a particular team but others are influenced to collect by popular culture or artists that they follow.  Obviously the World Cup has given us a big boost.

“Demand grows every month and being at the Innovation Centre with the workshop and office space we now need is a big help. The facilities are great and the UKSE team is so supportive.  My father and uncle are both helping out and we may need even more space soon.”

Jack buys from suppliers in countries including Holland and Germany and sells online with his website  www.footballshirtsjack.com  also featuring football news and quizzes.   He uses sites such as Depop, Instagram and Ebay and has amassed thousands of followers and five-star reviews.

Jack’s degree in accounting and finance plus his experience working in that sector is standing him in good stead but it was Covid that finally propelled him into becoming a business owner.

“I was between jobs and staying with family in Dubai when Covid struck,” he said. “As I was stuck there for a while I decided to start developing a website to turn my hobby into a business and am very pleased with the way it is going.”

Joan Cook, Workspace Manager for UKSE, the Tata Steel business-support subsidiary, said:  “We are pleased we could help Jack settle into the office and workshop space he now needs.  UKSE Innovation Centres are designed to support new and growing businesses and Jack has got off to a great start with his venture.”