Beresford remains familiar matchday face on Tyneside

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The Independent Online

John Beresford has been on a shopping spree since leaving professional football five years ago.

Beresford, who made over 500 appearances with five clubs, now works for BBJ Northern Ltd, a Sheffield-based firm of shopfitters who make sure there is something special in store for customers nationwide.

"When I came out of football, I didn't really have any firm idea of what I was going to do," said Beresford, who made his league debut for Barnsley in 1988 and went on to play for Portsmouth, Newcastle, Southampton and Birmingham.

"Darren Hunt, my best mate from school, had set up BBJ and the business was expanding. He said he needed a front man who could build up the marketing side. Would I be interested?

"I told him I didn't know the first thing about joinery but he said that didn't matter.

"I always enjoyed going out and meeting the fans during my career," Beresford added, "so I was more than happy to give it a go – particularly if it involved a game of golf with potential customers.

"We've done a lot of work for Marks and Spencer, but basically we'll turn our hand to any job anywhere."

Yet while Beresford is no longer involved with the playing side, he has not turned his back on the game he graced from his days as an apprentice with Manchester City.

For he is still a familiar figure on Tyneside, working as a match host at Newcastle and also as a television pundit. "I suppose that of all the clubs I played for, Newcastle will always be my first love," Beresford said.

"I loved Newcastle from the day I arrived and the city grew on me over the years. It's wonderful to be able to go back for home matches.

"Yet I might never have played for them if I hadn't failed a medical at Liverpool. That certainly turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

"When I signed [1992], we were in the old second Division but won promotion under Kevin Keegan as champions and I had five great years in the top flight.

"I have wonderful memories of the people I played with and against and the only downside was that we didn't put any silverware in the trophy cabinet."

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