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Iconic Blackburn sports shop has enjoyed a record innings
3:00pm Tuesday 25th March 2014 in News
ONE of the oldest surviving sports shops in the world is celebrating its 90th year in business.
Most independent sports stores have vanished from the high street in recent years, but cricketers and amateur sportsmen from across Lancashire have kept faith in D&J Pratt, in Mill Hill, Blackburn.
The firm was set up by George Pratt in 1924, when he began fixing shoes in a wooden cabin in Parkinson Street.
But the cobbler soon began selling shoes and sports equipment and in the 1960s, when his son David took over the business, the shop moved 200 yards to its current, bigger, premises in New Chapel Street.
It soon forged a reputation for quality products and services and the family enjoyed a long partnership with Blackburn Rovers, including boot repairs for stars such as Alan Shearer and Roy Wegerle.
Son Andrew, 48, who took over the shop eight years ago, said: “It feels wonderful to have kept something going through three generations.
“It has been tough for the last few years so we decided to specialise in cricket equipment and actually launched our own DJP brand.
“It’s very much a cottage industry but there are lots of local league players who use our gear.
“I started working in the shop at 16 and I’ve never done anything else. I just live for it, although my son is a teacher so it looks like it’s going to finish with me.”
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