New goal with the launch of bathroom company

IN a jubilant scene in Yorkshire football film When Saturday Comes, the victorious players celebrate in the changing room bath while swigging cans of bitter. If the picture, from 1996, was re-made today, you would hope they all jump in the showers instead.

The gesture might not mean that much to the average cinema-goer but for Gary Daly it would be a suitable way to mark his latest re-invention. For it was Mr Daly who helped lay the ground for the making of the Blades movie, and his brother who co-wrote it, in which Sean Bean starred as a factory worker who ends up playing for Sheffield United.

Now Mr Daly, a Steel City entrepreneur who previously ran an electrical contracting business, has launched a new bathroom company, Splashblade. Its eponymous product is an aluminium device which is designed to protect against water running out of a shower and avoid the damage to the floor which is the result of a daily soaking.

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Mr Daly, 46, set up the company in September 2008 and has been selling the product for the last six months.

He has already had interest from Germany and the US and expects to turn over 50,000 in his first full year of trading before taking this to about 100,000 within three years.

He also wants to take the product into new markets, with the help of an online shop and refer-a-friend vouchers, as businesses look to prevent water run-off and wearing out of their floors.

"I am looking to get into hotels, housing associations and care homes and (it could be used by) anybody with a shower curtain."

Splashblade has partnered with Gedanisa, a Uttoxeter bathroom company, which gives Mr Daly access to the German market.

The businessman, and co-director Martin Manning, had hoped to would win a cash boost for the business after being lined up to appear on BBC2's Dragons' Den in April, but he said filming of the show was cancelled after Peter Jones, the telecoms and leisure entrepreneur, was stranded in Barbados because of the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud.

The episode was never re-arranged and it has left Mr Daly, who owns 83 per cent of the start-up, looking for other sources of investment. He said: "I am open to talks if anyone is interested."

He is balancing this with his interests in film. His brother, James, lived in Los Angeles for 14 years and Gary Daly spent a short amount of time there in the 1990s.

His role in When Saturday Comes was to help secure corporate backers and sponsors, such as brewer Stones and sportswear firm Mizuno.

Now he is working on getting two more movies made. Cracking Up, based on the Maxwell Murray book of the same name, is subtitled A Tale of Sex, and Drugs, and Northern Soul, about a young man trying to escape the drudgery of his job. Mr Daly said he is also working on Get It On, a money laundering film written by his brother.

The challenges of trying to get funding for films and of setting up a business amid an economic downturn could be head-spinning but Mr Daly said he is used to keeping several different plates spinning.

"I have worked for myself since I was 21. I will take anything on board and I work very well under pressure."

He is also working on a product related to low energy bulbs, although Mr Daly said he did not wish to say more at this stage about his invention.

He has 3,000 of backing for it, however, from Business Link Yorkshire.