A Co Down entrepreneur is hoping to score some major success with his own special formula of the vanishing foam made famous during the 2014 World Cup. Peter Hamill, 43, is hoping to secure a deal to supply the Premier League with the product and also export the spray around the world from his Hillsborough base.
The plan to create his own version of the foam used by referees to mark the position of the ball and the wall for free kicks came about because of a suggestion from his seven-year-old daughter Lauren. He said: “I was working with paints at the time and my daughter who is a big football fan pointed out this spray that referees were using and said, ‘Why don’t you have a go at making that?’
“I ordered a tin off the internet to learn a bit more about it. I wasn’t that impressed with the spray in terms of opacity and dispersion. “With the help of a chemist I set about producing my own. It’s been about a year in development. The idea is that it can be easily seen on the pitch, but will disperse within about 90 seconds.” Mr Hamill, who is a former rugby player with Garryowen and a fan of the Northern Ireland national football team, said he was in talks with the Premier League with a view to supplying the league with his Pro-Fade spray for its referees. The Belfast man, who is now living in Hillsborough with his wife Fiona and their daughter, said: “At the minute the Premier League are importing it from Belgium. I’m the only UK manufacturer of this foam.”
One of his biggest pitches to data has been to the Russian Federation in a bid to supply next summer’s World Cup.
Beyond the primary use of the spray, he is trying to market the product as club-branded merchandise for sale to fans. He has already secured a deal with Shamrock Rovers in the League of Ireland and is in talks with some Premier League clubs as well as football associations around the world. Mr Hamill said he was already exporting to New Zealand, USA and Kuwait since the product launched in November. He said: “It’s not just for referees. It can be used from the top level down to grass roots for training, for example positional work and drills.
“It can even be used by kids in their own garden. “Young people have caught on to the versatility of Pro-Fade and use it for on-pitch emojis and fun.” Referee’s Pro-Fade vanishing foam is available to buy online at www.pro-fade.com. Club and international branded versions will become available as deals are struck.