Gareth Thomas in ‘£7m shandy takeover’

Stephen Gray January 18, 2012
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Gay rugby icon Gareth Thomas has reportedly taken over a Welsh drinks company along a former team-mate after deliberations about his career.

WalesOnline reports that the player bought the Turbo Drinks Company with his business partner Sean Smith and Gareth Williams, who was also a Welsh national team player, for around £7m.

The beverage company’s main product is the 4% shandy Turbo, which comes in a black bottle and is made from British lager and lemonade.

The manufacturer says the drink is taking the club world “by storm”, as it “appeals to both lager and alcopop drinkers due to being both a beer and a premix drink, bridging the gap between the two”.

Thomas, currently appearing in the Celebrity Big Brother house, has been in the news recently as the target of an offensive tweet which led to a footballer being sacked.

Lee Steele, who was let go by Oxford City, had said he “wouldn’t fancy” the bed next to Thomas and made a crude remark about protecting his body.

Steele apologised through his new club, Nantwich Town, saying the remark was “tongue-in-cheek”.

While Thomas is in the Celebrity Big Brother house, Sean Smith, of Sean Smith & Associates, told the paper about his partnership with the gay rugby star.

He said: “Gareth and I had months of painstaking talks about what he wanted to do with his career. We discussed things and there was an instant passion for the brand.”

Commenting on the job production the takeover and expansion of the drinks range would mean, he described the desire to create a “product for Wales”.

He said: “I really believe in this. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a millionaire and I watch the pennies like everybody else. But I really believe in Gareth and Gar [Williams], I have so much admiration for them.”

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