A South Shields FC player has landed his dream role off the field - taking up the manager’s job at a new sports bar and restaurant in the town.
Chris Hunter, one of the team’s defenders, has taken charge of Bar 52 and Latin American diner Loca, based at the Sea Hotel.
The venues opened on Friday April 12, following £1.5million four-month refurbishment project at the hotel.
The High Street Group of Companies bought the hotel for £1million last year and it now joins other hotels in Eaglescliffe, Stanley and Whitley Bay that are part of High Street Hospitality.
Chris, 31, from South Shields, met the company’s chairman Gary Forrest through football seven years ago.
He started working in the call centre of what was initially a financial claims operation, and since then has held a number of positions as the company diversified into property development and hospitality.
Chris said: “I am delighted to have been given this opportunity in my home town.
“I am sure the local community will enjoy what we are bringing to the leisure and hospitality scene in Shields.”
Bar 52 will be screening sports offerings from around the world while serving a wide range of drinks and food.
It features entertainment including pool tables, dart boards, quiz nights and open mic nights.
High Street Residential is currently working on string of developments in major UK cities.
The flagship scheme – Hadrian’s Tower – will become Newcastle’s tallest building.