AN exhibition of Adidas trainers proved an international sensation - with thousands of people travelling from across the world to attend the footwear extravaganza.

The doors to the Adidas Spezial exhibition - held in Blackburn’s Cotton Exchange - closed on Sunday afternoon after two weeks of events.

Organisers have now confirmed that an estimated 21,000 people, some from as far afield as Australia, came to the town to see the exhibition.

Martin Kelly, Blackburn with Darwen’s Growth and Development boss, said the crowds were a ‘wonderful tribute’ to the hard work put in by so many to ensure the event’s success.

He said: “It has been fantastic for the town and the number of people who attended is a reflection of the hard work put in by many, particularly Gary Aspden. Anyone who was around on Saturday evening - when Primal Scream were performing - would have seen the town pulsing in a way it hasn’t done for years.”

Over the course of the two weeks, performers including magician Dynamo, Primal Scream and Tez Ilyas performed charity gigs to raise money for local charity Nightsafe.

The major exhibition showcased around 1,200 pairs of vintage adidas trainers dating back to the 1950s. The brainchild of Darwen-born Adidas designer Gary Aspden, a limited number of Blackburn Spezial trainers were sold with all proceeds going to Nightsafe.

Posting to his Instagram after the event, Mr Aspden thanked all of those who had made the occasion so special.

He said: “Thanks to all the team who worked around the clock over the past couple of months to create such a memorable event. None of us could have anticipated the scale of the response and the amount of additional work this would create for us all - thanks to all who stepped in to help us at short notice.

“Thanks to all the adidas collectors whose contributions made the strongest vintage adidas display to ever be shown publicly within this exhibition.

“Thanks to Nightsafe for their continued efforts with the young homeless in Blackburn.

“Thanks to the good people of Blackburn and Darwen and all who visited from all over the UK and beyond Germany, Belgium, Holland, Italy, Spain, Malaysia, USA, Hong Kong, Australia - and anywhere I might have missed.”

It was part of The British Textile Biennial, which is on until November 3.