NI sports retailer acquires Scottish rival in significant deal

Steven McMurray (left), McMurray Sports, DJ Wilson (centre), Ulster Bank, and Alan McMurray, McMurray Sports, mark the deal, which will see the local company acquire Scottish rival, Gilmour Sports.
Steven McMurray (left), McMurray Sports, DJ Wilson (centre), Ulster Bank, and Alan McMurray, McMurray Sports, mark the deal, which will see the local company acquire Scottish rival, Gilmour Sports.

A County Down-based sports retailer has acquired a Scottish rival in a six-figure deal supported by Ulster Bank.

McMurray Sports, which operates the popular Total Hockey website in addition to a shop in Banbridge, has acquired Gilmour Sports, a leading hockey equipment seller.

The Ulster Bank-backed investment will see the local firm take on Gilmour Sports’ online store, as well as its physical shop in Dublin. The move is expected to create a number of new jobs.

Gilmour Sports describes itself as an independent, family-owned sports retailer, founded in 1987, that has established itself as one of Europe’s leading field hockey specialists.

McMurray Sports, which also specialises in hockey equipment, is run by brothers Alan and Steven McMurray. Through Total Hockey, the company also sells to foreign markets including Japan and the US.

The latest acquisition will enable McMurray Sports to further grow its business in the GB market as well as into Europe, building on its success on the island of Ireland.

DJ Wilson, Business Development Manager, Ulster Bank said: “McMurray Sports is a long-standing Ulster Bank client that we have been pleased to support over a number of decades. Alan and Steven’s vision opened up a new opportunity for the company in terms of online sales of hockey equipment and this latest investment will see them further develop that part of the business.”

Steven from McMurray Sports says: “Gilmour Sports is a strong brand with a strong customer-base in Scotland and England, as well as in the Republic of Ireland and elsewhere in Europe. We are experiencing ongoing organic growth, but we feel that this acquisition will put us in a very strong position in some key markets. We are very grateful for the backing we have received from Ulster Bank who have supported the family business for many years and have provided us outstanding expertise and assistance.”