Former Aston Villa star Ian Taylor is making a noise in the business world after teaming up with a Midland firm to launch a new set of headphones.
The League Cup winner, who also played for Derby County and Port Vale, has teamed up with Cannock-based Bluechipworld to create a range of bluetooth personal audio accessories.
The range has been named iT7, which recognises his Villa shirt number, went on sale last month after being launched in Las Vegas.
Since hanging up his boots, Mr Taylor has become a regular radio pundit and has established sports consultancy Stadia Sports & Lifestyle alongside former Birmingham City defender Michael Johnson.
The new venture came after an impromptu with Bluechipworld’s Simon Hassell while touring with the club in Hong Kong.
Mr Taylor said: “It was a chance meeting in Hong Kong when I was out there with the Villa. They have got a manufacturing business – they manufacture mobile phones and wireless bluetooth headsets and sell to Tesco and Asda and places like that.
“We just got talking about the fact they are launching some headphones and it is all bluetooth technology. We talked for a bit and they asked if I would be interested, and it is right up my street.
“I was a budding DJ when I was younger and I have still got some decks at home.
“Music is still something that I am very interested in.”
The full iT7 line up includes wireless sports earphones, headphones and a bluetooth speaker system.
It was officially launched at the CES show in Las Vegas by Bluechipworld and Stadia Sports & Lifestyle – the sports consultancy firm established by Mr Taylor alongside former Birmingham City defender Michael Johnson.
The former Villa star added: “I helped to design the headphones and I have put my name to them.
“I was involved with the design and sound and everything. We sat down with the sound guys and the bluetooth technology people and again once they had finished and I was really pleased.”
Mr Taylor admits his business career is significantly different from life as a footballer, but believes the ultimate focus on quality and effort unite the two.
His new role has already taken him across the world, and he has ambitions to grow Stadia Sports & Lifestyle.
“We are looking at organising concerts at football grounds and a lot of commercial deals, not only in football but all sports,” he said.
“It is principally in Birmingham but it has taken us all over the country and abroad as well. We are in Dubai in June and this year we have been to America, Barcelona and China, so it has taken us all over.”
He added: “It is obviously a lot different – you have to have half a brain, which hopefully I have got.
“After we stopped playing football a lot of people were coming up to us and asking for favours because of our contacts in the game and we just thought we should do something.
“Football is a pretty close-knit world and it can be difficult to get into it so that is what we do.”