Derry's 'Jobby's Sports Centre' in focus in new BBC One NI film 'True North: The Trophy Shop'

Jobby’s Sports Centre in Derry and its owner John ‘Jobby’ Crossan are the focus of a new BBC One NI film titled ‘True North: The Trophy Shop’ which will debut next Wednesday, January 19.
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As people across Derry and further afield know, this shop is no ordinary shop, with no ordinary shopkeeper - none other than soccer legend John ‘Jobby’ Crossan, who has shared a pitch with the iconic trio of George Best, Eusébio and Pelé.

Upon retirement he faced the same dilemma as many do in sport - what now?

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In this new film produced by Triplevision, viewers get to see at first-hand how a sports shop bought by John in the 1970s became his next calling, quickly becoming a meeting point for friends old and new and Derry’s go to destination for all sporting achievement awards.

John 'Jobby' Crossan.John 'Jobby' Crossan.
John 'Jobby' Crossan.

The film is sure to be a ‘must-see’ for everyone across Derry and is already available to view now on BBC iPlayer.

In an interview with the Journal in 2018, to celebrate his 80th birthday, the former Man City and Sunderland legend told how the love of his life was football.

In his own understated way, he added how he was ‘fortunate I could play a bit.’

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Born in Hamilton Street in 1938, Jobby, arguably Derry’s most famous footballer, had an iconic career which included lining out for Standard Liege against the famous Real Madrid team of Ferenc Puskas, Gento and the great Alfredo Di Stefano in the European Cup semi-final of 1962 (He scored twice against Rangers in the previous round).

He told the Journal in the 2018 interview: “I was at a Football Writers’ Dinner at the Café Royal in Oxford Street, London some time afterwards and as I was heading up the stairs to the function room I spotted Alfredo Di Stefano and he shouted ‘Standard Liege!’ and shook my hand. I was chuffed,” he beamed.

“Playing Real Madrid at the Bernabeu was definitely one of the stand-out memories in front of 120 thousand.” he said. “Di Stefano was always a step ahead. I remember doing a lot of running in that game, doing the job of marking Di Stefano. He was the complete player.” Madrid went on to win 6-0 on aggregate.

Jobby also had an impressive international career, notching up 24 caps and 10 goals for Northern Ireland. He made his Northern Ireland debut against England at Wembley on November 11, 1959.

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His classic 25 yard volley at Windsor Park as N. Ireland defeated Poland in the European Nations Cup tie in 1962 is one of his favourite strikes which was labelled ‘a goal in a million.’

After he retired from the game, Jobby returned home to open a bar in Ferguson’s Lane before purchasing his popular sports shops in the 1970s.

‘True North: The Trophy Shop’ will broadcast on BBC One Northern Ireland on Wednesday 18 January at 10.40pm.

It is also available now on BBC iPlayer at

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