Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

It's a Sign of the Times as Jack Hatfield Sports Shop Is Put Up for Sale

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

It's a Sign of the Times as Jack Hatfield Sports Shop Is Put Up for Sale

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVE ROBSON dave.robson@trinitymirror.com @Daverobson_gaz

IT'S the sports shop thousands of Teessiders have flocked to over the years.

But the final whistle is about to be blown on Jack Hatfield Sports.

Since 1970, the Borough Road shop - named after the famous Teesside Olympic swimmer - has served many of Teesside's sporting needs.

If you needed anything from a set of darts to an entire set of team strips, Jack Hatfield's was often the first port of call.

It was the successor to the original Jack Hatfield shop, established in 1912 and run from Newton Street until it made way for the Cleveland Centre.

Over the 1970 Easter weekend, the Newton Street shop closed and on the Tuesday after Easter, the Borough Road outlet opened - and it's been a Teesside sporting fixture ever since.

But with that part of Borough Road much changed in recent years, and faced with relentless competition from discount stores and the internet, the man who's run it since 1999, Paul Barry, has reluctantly decided to sell up.

It's on the market for offers over PS250,000, with the Rightmove website calling it "a rarely available centrally located retail unit."

But the property website says it also has the "potential for conversion into a large number of student apartments - subject to planning." Paul admits he's put the shop up for sale "with a heavy heart."

He said: "Twenty years ago, we had 14 sports shops in the town. Business was booming then.

"And until 2008/9, it was superb. But then the internet and cut-price shops came along.

and Peter October "They can't give you the personal service we've always prided ourselves on, though. When people come in here, we'll talk to them about what they want and try and get them exactly what they need. You don't get that on a computer."

The story began in 1912 when Jack Hatfield senior, who became an Olympic swimmer, established the Newton Street shop. …

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