The Gosforth bike shop (founded 1894) has been given a Specialized store-in-store makeover as it moves up in the worldEarlier tonight football legend Alan Shearer cut the ribbon on the official re-opening of M Steel Cycles in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne.
He was also presented with a £1300 Specialized Stumpjumper to replace his old model. Since retiring from football, Shearer has taken to cycling. He cycles 3-4 times a week, often on his Specialized Roubaix road bike.
Earlier this year Shearer helped to raise £500,000 for charity by riding 335 miles in 36 hours.
At tonight's ribbbon cutting ceremony, Shearer was mock-interviewed by another Tyneside sporting hero, Joe Waugh, an Olympian and Commonwealth Games gold medallist.
Waugh is the owner of M Steel Cycles, one of the oldest bike shops in the UK. Photos of his cycling exploits in the 1970s adorn the walls of the new premises, a hop, skip and a jump from the former site.Article continues below
The new, 2500sq ft shop - a former fishing tackle shop - has two floors, a Body Fit room, tons of Altura and Specialized clothing, and a whole lot of Specialized bikes. There are also some Trek bikes on display but the shop, on the whole, is wall to wall Specialized.
100+ guests at the opening - including former co-owners of the business, Geoff Dobson and framebuilder Dave Yates - were treated to food, drink, and the services of a caricature artist and balloon sculptors. Shearer was presented with a highly detailed balloon effigy of himself atop a bike, pix here.
To Shearer, Waugh said: "Forget the caps, forget all the goals, forget all the accolades, you're now my hero. You've discovered a real sport: cycling!"