Reebok was the perfect match for Bolton Wanderers

The inside of the stadium showing the Reebok logo and name

The inside of the stadium showing the Reebok logo and name

First published in News
Last updated

WHEN Bolton Wanderers announced their new home was to be called the Reebok Stadium back in 1997, it seemed like the perfect union.

The town’s football club — founder members of the Football League — were linking up with a sportswear giant which also had roots in Bolton.

Joseph William Foster founded his company J W Foster and Sons after coming up with an idea to make a novelty spiked running shoe in 1895 But it was left to his grandsons, Joe and Jeff, to rebrand the company Reebok, spawned from the Afrikaans spelling of rhebok, a type of African antelope or gazelle, in 1958.

They had found the name in a South African dictionary which had been won in a running race by Mr Foster when he was a boy.

The company lived up to the J W Foster legacy, manufacturing top class footwear for customers throughout the UK. In 1979, Paul Fireman, an American sporting goods distributor, saw a pair of Reeboks at an international trade show and negotiated to sell them in the US.

From then on, Reebok became a global brand but in 2005 was bought by German group Adidas.

It is now a producer of athletics shoes, clothing and accessories with a global headquarters in Massachusetts in the US, with regional offices in Amsterdam, Holland, Montreal in Canada, Hong Kong and Mexico City.

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