Kevin Keegan used to joke when Manchester City manager how footballer Nedum Onuoha invested his win bonuses on the Stock Market.
Onuoha, now at London club Queens Park Rangers, has ploughed a six-figure sum into a luggage business started by an old school friend. He has taken a 15-per-cent stake in Rochdale firm Luggage Mule.
It was founded in 2012 by Jordan Makin, who went to school with Onuoha at Hulme Grammar School, Oldham. Although they were in different years, they played in the same house team.
The business provides a low cost luggage forwarding service. It has relationships with UPS and DHL, and organises a home collection service for its customers the day before they travel. They then collect their luggage when they arrive at their hotel or resort.
Mr Makin told TheBusinessDesk.com: “The idea came from a bad experience. My father lives in France and we got charged a big sum by the budget airline we flew with – something like £250 – for our luggage being a bit over the weight limit.”
Mr Makin, who has previously worked in fashion and training, said: “I’m delighted that Nedum has come onboard as a shareholder. He’s a great guy and I’m thrilled that he’s seen the potential in the business.”
Onuoha said: “I’ve known Jordan a long time and I’m really impressed with the growth in business for Luggage Mule over the past 12 months and am only too happy to invest to help him and the team grow the business even further in the coming years.”
Spain, France and the USA were the top overseas destinations for its customers – alongside shipping luggage within the UK. Family holidays with multiple pieces of luggage, and golf, ski and cycling trips are among the top leisure services for Luggage Mule, as well as one-way shipping for those emigrating overseas, usually for business.
Among the most unusual bookings for 2014 for Luggage Mule were a booking to ship a magician’s stage set – including the box used to make his assistant disappear.