I have two boys who play rugby. One of them also plays football. They are big boys and they just keep growing.
Boys + sport + growth = need for lots of sports kit.
Where I live, if you need rugby boots, football boots, trainers, gumshields, football socks etc and you don’t want to pay the earth, there’s only one place to go. Sports Direct.
If you’ve never had the pleasure, try to imagine hell, re-located to the British high street. The bit where the rents are slightly lower. You should now have a clear picture in your head of Sports Direct.
Sports Direct works on the ‘pile it high, sell it cheap’ principle. Everything is 70% off, though goodness knows who in their right mind would ever have paid the full price. It is a minefield to navigate because there are racks of Adidas shell-suits and Lonsdale sweatshirts everywhere. Back in the day when we had a buggy, forget it, there was no way in. Customers knock the merchandise onto the floor and don’t bother to pick it up. It doesn’t make much difference to it, anyway. The staff can’t be arsed either.
The staff. They fall into two categories. Male and thin or female and fat. The males are slightly more enthusiastic as they bring out the piles of Nike, Dunlop and Adidas footwear for you to try on. The females, who could be 17 or 35, but all look the same – lumpy – have probably never cracked a smile in their lives.
It’s a chicken and egg situation. What came first – the crap staff, the crap stock, the lack of customer service, the crap pay or the customers who couldn’t give a shit? It’s a vicious circle, but on the plus side you can buy a pink Adidas tracksuit in age 3-6 months. With 70% off.
If you have, how can I put this politely? If you are… no, sorry, I can’t – I’ll just say it. If you are lucky enough to have both a partner AND a job, you will go in, get your son’s trainers/ football boots and get the hell out of there.
If your family stretches back through generations of long-term benefits and teenage single parents, you might stay a little longer. There’s those pink babies’ tracksuits for starters. Surely never purchased by anyone who’s ever had a baby over the age of 20. And you can get pink fake Ugg boots emblazoned in Dora the Explorer or sparkly Hello Kitty trainers. Sportacus or Stephanie tracksuits. Those little foam sandal things with Thomas the Tank Engine on. And if you’re over the age of 2, they even do jeans. And crop tops for the ladies (not just sports ones).
In short, it is chav heaven. While the middle classes have grabbed their football boots and are scuttling back to the safety of Joules, the never-worked class are kitting themselves out from head to toe in tat. With 70% off.