It’s A Goal



When this young lad became a dad himself he made another wood and pea netting goal for his son but realised that something better was needed. Attempts to make a goal from round plastic drainpipe followed however it was quickly realised that these were not strong enough and further research was needed to re-solve the problem. A specially strengthened uPVC tube was created, and with special corner fittings and ground anchors a goal was manufactured that was easy to assemble, lightweight yet strong, virtually impossible to knock over, light enough to carry in a small bag and with a new unique system of net fitting the goal could be erected quickly and with ease.

From that very first wood and pea netting goal a whole new industry of mini-soccer goalpost manufacture has grown up and many thousands of mini-soccer goals are in daily use all over the world. They give many hours of enjoyment and children can emulate their heroes and dream of the day when they might themselves be the one to score a winning goal in the Cup Final at Wembley.


As a young ten year old at primary school I was one of the lucky boys that was chosen to play for the school football team. Memorable times, the whole school would watch us play against the other Primary schools in the town and this was the start of my lifelong love of football. We won the league and I scored seventeen goals. In those days we had one football match on Television a year the Cup Final and for weeks after the final every piece of grass for miles had kids playing football with blazers for goal posts. The inspiration for the portable goal was born from those matches and the name ITSA GOAL from the cup final TV commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme.

Many youngsters wanted to play for the school team and after I started to make uPVC mini soccer goals I helped develop a system to enable these children to experience football via a soccerstart scheme.  I always regretted that both my parents never saw me play football  my dad worked three shifts and was always either at work or in bed my granddad died when I was one year old and I had no one to encourage me or share those memories. My mums brother was a good footballer and he had lots of time for us when we were little and like many in that era we learnt from our elders. As a child I would have loved my mum & dad to have enjoyed football with me.


Although I was told we would not sell any mini soccer goals at the outset by the large retailers I knew there was a market. The idea was to replicate the small sided game we played as youngsters on the playground, more touches and a smaller pitch with proportional goals (the school team played with full size adult goals – no wonder I scored so many times).

My idea was to set up a scheme using my goalposts through a controlled franchise system  to allow children to express themselves to learn how to dribble to try skills without the pressure of parents or coaches. In essence to create an Uncle Gordon for everyone but with proper goals!  We also created a cartoon character “Bertie Ball” to talk to kids to help avoid any early celebrity culture from developing. I realised that if I could introduce this nationally we could have a beneficial input into the game and if we could attain just 10p per child we could make it affordable for children and financially viable for each Franchisee. This way it would guarantee enthusiasm from the coaches as they had their own little business to build and football skills would improve.



What we have actually inherited is the current academy system of coaches on a basic hourly wage in dead end jobs going nowhere and would be Sir Alex Fergusons on the touchlines of Britain every week end. The biggest mistake I made was to take my goalposts to the Football Association. They created the Mini Soccer league system and the mayhem of parents against parents every week end.  This does however still get kids involved and I have enjoyed watching my own grandson blossom playing for his local team, his school team and the academies he has been at but it could have been so much better. The opportunity to educate through a handpicked franchisee  the very young about healthy eating, the dangers of drugs, alcohol ,racism and smoking has been replaced with the promotion of Mac Donalds with  teams and parents that put winning above encouraging basic individual skills. Four million children now play and enjoy Mini Soccer every week so we did something right.

With regard to goalpost safety I was first introduced into the dangers of Goalposts with the tragic fatal accident of Jonathan Smith that was raised on the “That’s Life” programme by Ester Ransom. At that time we had just started making safe uPVC goalposts and we did not make steel or aluminium goalposts. I was asked to sit on the UK committee for the EN 748 goalpost committee. Soon after this I was sent a coroner’s report of another young lad that had died in the Isle of Wight in a similar manner but It was after meeting the mum of Jack Sheerin in 2001 that I started to look in more depth into these dangerous products as more deaths were being reported. We commissioned Sheffield University to look into the mechanics of goalpost toppling before we started to look into making safer freestanding and socketed goalposts.


As a company on a small budget we have been able to solve the majority of problems that others have ignored since goalposts were first conceived one hundred and fifty years ago.  Our reward for this  is an exclusion of grants towards the goalposts we developed that are proven to be safe. The BSI must not have known or understood what our competitors were doing by increasing crossbar strength tests on such goalposts.

Most individuals not involved in the design or use of goalposts my well think increasing testing strength would improve safety. This is not the case the higher the Newtons  used  the heavier the goal needs to be to withstand the test which is the opposite to what is needed. This 1000 higher newton test introduced by the BSI BA 8462 2009 (un-named ) committee actually encourages heavy goalposts that may seriously or fatally injure a child.


Our competitors have succeeded in what they wanted to do, remove our more competitive products from grant aid and, reduce our sales in the middle of the deepest recession the country has ever seen. The result the least expensive goals are no longer our lightweight safer goalposts but heavy steel free standing goalposts made by our competitors.

We carry on whatever is thrown at us …. our ethos ….making goalposts that last, that are safe, easy to use, are secure , freestanding goalposts made as light as they possible can be to whatever standard is thrown at us and always give un biased advice, help and information.

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