14:56 Wednesday 09 January 2013

49 and out for popular town centre sports store

Written byBY ROB SMYTH

A SHOP that has served countless generations of budding sports stars in Burton and beyond is closing its doors for the final time after nearly 50 years.

B & D Sports, in Station Street, has long been the stopping point for youngsters looking to buy their first pair of football boots or cricket bat and for people looking for a more personal and professional touch.

But owner David Haskew, who started the business with his father Bernard, revealed that he is set to retire at the end of January and set sail with family and friends.

The 64-year-old told the Mail: “I will be sad to go but it is time to go and enjoy retirement.

“It has not always been easy during the past 49 years, especially with the tough opposition from the likes of JJB and Sports Direct, but we carved a little niche and people kept coming back.

“We are one of only a handful of independent sports shop left as many of suffered and been forced to close.

“I set the business up with my father, Bernard, who was a professional tennis coach, to offer a more professional bespoke service to people.

“We always offered more help with equipment and technical advice rather than the clothing side of the business.

“It was about offering a personal touch and with my dad being a tennis coach – it allowed him to use personal experience to help others.

“Areas such as cricket and rugby were also areas that we specialised in over the years.”

The shop started off life in Guild Street before moving to bigger premises near Allied Breweries in Station Street before finally finding a permanent home further up the street – a site it has occupied for more than 30 years.

Mr Haskew added: “A book has been set up on the shop counter and customers are filling it with good luck messages. It seems from what they have said that they are very sad that we are closing and the shop will be missed.”

Despite no defintiev closing date being set, Mr Haskew expects it to be before the middle of February..

He then looks set to go sailing with family and friends as part of his retirement.

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