An entrepreneur has overcome a setback which dashed his hopes of a career in sport to become his own company boss.
Kevin Thirlaway was once a promising footballer who played for local teams and had a trial for Sheffield United.
I used to be a fanatic footballer. I played for teams in Wingate and had a trial for Sheffield United but I then got a disease in my knee and I had to pack it in. After that, it was quite a different route that I went downKevin Thirlaway
But a disease in his knee ended his footballing dream and that’s when the Wingate man decided to develop his own future.
Now Kevin, 37, owns and runs Premier Smart Repairs, based on the Wingate Grange Industrial Estate.
It does auto work which includes bumper scuffs, paintwork scratches, cigarette burns, and damaged alloy wheels.
Kevin looked back on how he achieved his aims of succeeding despite heartbreak in the past.
“I used to be a fanatic footballer. I played for teams in Wingate and had a trial for Sheffield United, but I then got a disease in my knee and I had to pack it in.
“After that, it was quite a different route that I went down.”
He went into building sites and worked on them for two years before moving on.
“I wondered what to do as a career and eventually got into tool hire.”
He did so well, he was assistant manager for a firm within two years and branch manager within three – and that was when he was still just 20 years old.
He spent about 14 years in tool hire and held a managerial position for 12 of them.
“I felt proud of what I had achieved, but I am an ambitious person and I wanted to be successful and I wanted to do it off my own bat.
“I wanted to do it for myself and my family.”
That’s when he turned towards business and set up Premier Smart Repairs.