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Home / Entertainment / Welsh football T-shirts designed by a former steelworker are a Euro 2016 hit… and even Gareth Bale has one

Welsh football T-shirts designed by a former steelworker are a Euro 2016 hit… and even Gareth Bale has one

Welsh football fans have long been known to wear their hearts on their sleeve.

But thanks to one former Tata steelworker they’ve got an entire T-shirt on which to show their love for the national side.

San Portablo 1901 is a new street clothing brand from Port Talbot which specialises in celebrating pop culture and sports fanaticism at a grass roots level.

It’s the brain child of Nigel Hunt who, after losing his job of 10 years at the beleaguered steel plant in March, was left trying to figure out what to do next.

Two of Nigel’s popular designs

“I’d been in clothing before and had a shop called Dizzy Angel in Port Talbot, along with one in Swansea, selling labels like Duffer of St George and Carhartt, so I suppose it was already in my blood,” says the dad-of-four.

“I was also a big supporter of Port Talbot Town AFC – the 1901 bit of the San Portablo logo refers to the year the club was formed – and I’d previously made different T-shirts of some of the fans there.

“So when I found myself at a loose end, and wondering where the next lot of money was going to come from, getting back in the T-shirt game seemed an obvious choice.”

And Wales’ incredible performance thus far in the Euro 2016 competition – the first time the national side has made it onto an international football forum in 58 years – has given Nigel a huge opportunity to get his designs both seen and worn by thousands of excited new fans.

Wearing tees, but definitely not teetotal

“I’ve been flogging them on the streets of Bordeaux and people have been snapping them up – in fact, the sales have paid for me to go over to France twice already, something I could have never afforded to do otherwise.

“I’d most likely have had to watch the games on telly round my mum’s house,” he laughs, adding that numerous homegrown big names have also wanted a piece of the action.

“We have had shirts go to Gareth Bale, Michael Sheen, Super Furry Animals and the Dirty Sanchez boys, and I know John Hartson wants one.

“We’ve also done a pin badge of (Wales manager) Chris Coleman, with the logo, ‘This cookie doesn’t crumble- – Cookie being his nickname – and his wife Charlotte tweeted a picture of it the other day.”

And if Wales bow out to Belgium in tonight’s quarter final?

“There’s lots of new ideas in the pipeline, but we’re still selling plenty of tees all around the world – with lots of big orders coming from Australia, bizarrely.

“I guess there are Port Talbot boys and girls scattered all over the globe.”

For more information go to www.sanportablo.co.uk

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