RETRO football top maker The Old-Fashioned Football Shirt Company (Toffs) has added a certain je ne sais quoi to its shirts following Newcastle United’s January splurge on French players.
The Tyneside business has created a half French national, half Newcastle United shirt after the Geordie club signed a host of players from across the Channel this month.
The shirt has been affectionately dubbed “Le Toon” on the company’s e-commerce website.
Not one to miss an opportunity, Toffs is already in the process of making a special one-off shirt for club owner Mike Ashley after receiving 10 orders for the shirts so far.
This is not the first time that the firm has enjoyed success with a half and half shirt. Managing director Michele Finch said: “Since Toffs started in 1990 we designed a half and half shirt for a couple getting married – she was a Sunderland fan and he was a Newcastle fan.
“The last half and half shirt we created was for actor David Hasselhoff when he was performing in pantomime in Manchester this month. He knew the city was divided by its football clubs so he wore a shirt half Man Utd, half Man City.
“We put the Newcastle France shirt up on the website and after only a couple of hours we received 10 orders. We’re already in the process of making a special one for Mr Ashley. Whether he actually wears it to the match remains to be seen.
“We’ve also got a few berets and a couple of strings of French onions to give away to our first orders!”
Despite a recession that has crippled many retailers on the high street, Toffs has weathered the recessionary storm.
“It’s been 22 years and we’re still here,” said Finch. “We always seem to ride a storm because we’re pretty innovative and we’ve got a great consumer-based business. We’ve done it on our own and we’ve not relied on supplying to high streets, which in the current market, has worked in our favour.
“We’re performing on a par with last year which saw us turn over more than £1m. We hope to grow that turnover when some of our new ideas come to fruition.”
The firm currently has 18 staff but is looking to grow its workforce with at least three new machinists by the end of 2013.