As any respectable owner of the 1987 Panini sticker album will know, the best named sponsor of any team was that of our beloved Oxford United - whose palm was crossed with silver by none other than Wang Computers.
As the Robert Maxwell era came to an end, and we waved goodbye to famous players with fantastic perm / mullet hybrids such as Dean Saunders, Ray Houghton, John Aldridge and Mark Wright (see below), so too did we usher in a new era of shirt sponsorship.
And that, dear friends, brings us squarely to an amazing Thames Valley company called Unipart.
Sponsoring the Us from 1991 to 2000, Unipart was originally founded in 1974 as the distributor of service parts for state-owned British Leyland (and later Austin Rover), before a management buyout in 1987 made it one of the UK’s largest privately owned companies - and part employee-owned to boot.
Originally operating two manufacturing sites, from which automotive service parts were distributed via its logistics division, like so many other amazing Thames Valley companies Unipart has not just survived but indeed flourished by innovation, acquisition and joint ventures.
In the 30 years since, Unipart has grown to a turnover of almost £900million by acquiring companies such as National Railway Supplies, Partco, Park Signalling and Key Fasteners. It has also worked closely with a succession of major UK companies such as Honda, Sky, Vodafone, Rolls Royce and Waterstones.
Most recently, in 2018 Unipart Logistics won a five year £730 million contract with the NHS. Each of the Unipart NHS Supply Chain warehouse across the UK now supply different products for the NHS across the country, making it one of the most important contracts Unipart have.
So from everyone here at Selective Recruitment to everyone at Unipart Group: We salute you!