From Cork school caretaker to running his own business

In a new series, Careers in Cork, TIMMY O’MAHONY talks to people about their jobs. Today he catches up with Shane Knott from Barrack Street, who went from school caretaker, to running his own business
From Cork school caretaker to running his own business

Shane Knott and his wife and son - Ciara and Gino.

SHANE Knott, from Barrack Street, is the owner of Teamwear World, based on Togher Road. It has been providing sports gear and work uniforms to various sports clubs and customers all over Cork for the last six years.

Beginnings of a Career

“I started my business, Teamwear World, on January 1, 2017. I was motivated to start it as I was a 31-year old school caretaker. It was a decent job but I noticed myself becoming disillusioned with the work and the thought of opening and closing the same doors for another 35 years was actually starting to get to me.

“I said to myself, ‘I can’t just rot away and turn into a grouchy, cranky, lazy caretaker with no self-worth’.

“I was very lucky to avail of a career break which I took for two years. After two years I got a phone call from HR who said ‘we have to cut short your career break’, so it was go back or resign.

I happily resigned my position, as by then I had built up the business to a sustainable level, thanks to my loyal customers and my own hard work.”

Shane Knott with Gerald McCarthy, his father-in-law.
Shane Knott with Gerald McCarthy, his father-in-law.

Loving the Job

“I love that 99% of the time each day is different. There is always a new job to start and each job is different, each customer is different and it’s good navigating through this.

What I do generally is take orders from customers/clubs for either team gear or work uniforms. I then order in from my suppliers and when the gear arrives I then embroider their company logos, club crests, print sponsor logos or the numbers for the jerseys ,etc. I do all this in house at my premises on the Togher Road.”

Working with Customers

“I love meeting new customers and building relationships with existing customers. My business is all about people so I deal with clubs for gear and kits. I work with other businesses for uniforms.

Shane Knott with football player, John Egan.
Shane Knott with football player, John Egan.

“Through the club shop facility on my website, I would meet parents of kids from clubs for their small personalised orders, compared to the bigger club orders where you would usually have only a point of contact.

“There is a difference between my customers but I enjoy the mix of people. Anybody could walk in the door at any moment so it’s a nice variety to my working day.”

What’s the Challenge?

“The biggest Challenge is time. There is not enough time in the day.”


“I love a good pint of Fosters. I’m actively involved with my local GAA Club, St Finbarrs. After retiring from playing I stayed involved with coaching teams and going to games.

“I love spending time down there. It’s been a huge part of my life from a very young age. My three kids are all playing down there and I get great enjoyment from seeing them progress and from them getting the same enjoyment from the club as I do.”

Shane Knott, who runs Teamwear World on Togher Road.
Shane Knott, who runs Teamwear World on Togher Road.


“Saturdays are always hectic with kids’ activities. We go to the Barrs for the street leagues in the morning and possibly a soccer match in the afternoon. As the kids are all still young, a birthday party invite is a regular Saturday event too.

“On Sunday, I’m usually doing the roast beef in the kitchen.

“I love watching the sport too all weekend, Man United, Celtic and Atletico Madrid are the teams I support. There is nearly always at least one of my teams on the telly.”

Shout Outs

“I have to give a big shout out to Derek Corcoran of FANATICS and Sinead from Buckley’s in Shandon street.

When I started my company, I had to outsource all the printing and embroidery work and I will be forever thankful for their help in this regard. I remember well the favours they both pulled out for me, many at very short notice too.

"They were so nice and nothing was a problem, even when I started printing and embroidering myself, they were so helpful.”

Ian Maguire (Barrs & Cork Football Player)  at Shane Knott's store.
Ian Maguire (Barrs & Cork Football Player)  at Shane Knott's store.

Top People

“I also have to mention my staff from the past and present, Jack O’K, Paisley, Rory Fitz and Rory Sull, all of these guys have played a huge part in the success of Teamwear World and I thank them greatly for that.”

What does the future hold for Teamwear World?

“My ambition is to be the best Teamwear supplier in Ireland, I am also the national agent for Italian brand ACERBIS Sport, so as my role with them dictates, I really hope I can further grow this brand with other dealers around the country.

“I’ve been working with ACERBIS since 2018. They are a real upcoming brand with fantastic products and even better stock levels and service which is vital in this business.”

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