For mad keen City supporter Tim Warner, it all became clear on a Christmas morning some six years ago. Now, after much hard work, financial commitment and plenty of red tape, the dream has been realised.
Sat under many a Christmas tree across the country this yuletide will have been the replica stadiums of Old Trafford or Stamford Bridge, with plenty of young Blues and Reds now owning the latest must-have on the shelves.
For Warner, it has been a long and winding road but with more clubs lined up to use the Stadico model kits he has created, it is a case of onwards and upwards now for a man who also owns WW Rent-a-van in Dereham.
“It all started on a Christmas morning five years ago,” revealed Warner, speaking exclusively to myfootballwriter.com.
“I bought my son a Harry Potter Mega Castle. We spent all this time looking for it but he wasn't too keen to be honest. He wasn't interested in all this fantasy stuff, only in football. Then, the idea just came to me.
“It has taken a long time to get it up and running as the models have only just come on the market, about two months ago, so it has been a long old journey.
“We've had to have it patent protected and trademarked. It has been an interesting time getting the prototype right and it has taken a long while to get everything right. I have come up with this unique building block system and now, we're finally there.
“I started touting it round various toy manufacturers but it took a while for them to get their head round it, as it did for the sports industry, but now we are there I think it will go well.
“It's a great thing to get the family together. When I started putting the stadiums together, everyone got involved, including my wife and the kids, and there are not many attractions for kids these days that can do that.”
So, how did the Stadico founder manage to persuade Manchester United and Chelsea ? two of the superpowers of world football ? to 'go for it' and start selling the replica stadiums?
“Someone put me in touch with Manchester United and Chelsea and luckily, they liked the idea and we managed to secure licenses for those two clubs. They are on sale through our website and through the Megastores at Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge.
“Certain sports shops, like Pilch's in Norwich, have got them in stock as well as the BoyStuff website so it is available from a wide range of outlets. They are on sale for ?149.99 and for a new product it's going pretty well so far.”
Warner has enjoyed some good publicity with the product so far; with the most famous incident taking place on cult TV show Soccer AM.
Whilst being featured on the three-hour Saturday morning show on Sky Sports, co-presenter Helen Chamberlain managed to drop the Stamford Bridge model, smashing into pieces live on air.
His first reaction was likely to be one of horror, but it has probably done more good than harm in the long run; a YouTube clip of the incident has been viewed nearly 25,000 times.
“The Soccer AM incident was funny and it probably turned out to be a good thing, with the YouTube clip and everything,” added Warner.
“We've also been featured in the Mail on Sunday and various magazines so we've been lucky that the product has been featured in the national media which can only help.”
So, with the mighty Man Utd and Chelsea on the books, surely there would be a gap in the market for a Carrow Road replica? Being a Canary season-ticket holder must make the whole process that little bit easier?
“Arsenal and Liverpool could be next and we're in negotiations with those two. But I've managed to a do a pretty good version of Carrow Road which is exciting. I've got one made up and I'm meeting with the club soon.
“Hopefully they will like it and we can get some Carrow Road models up and running. It would be great as I'm a big Norwich fan and I'm sure it would work well for us and the club.
“I think it is good publicity for us and the club and I wanted to do it as I'm a local person so, as I said, hopefully the club will take it on board.”
If you are interested in purchasing any of the Stadico replica stadia, or just want some more information, then visit www.stadico.com
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