Footballer turned entrepreneur, Graeme Carter, from Wheatley Hill in County Durham, arrived at St James’ Park as an apprentice in 1986.
The central defender signed professional forms in 1988 but only made three substitute appearances with a persistent shoulder injury hampering his progress.
Following a brief spell with Gateshead, he then went on to play and coach in non-league football with Blue Star, Brandon United and Bishop Auckland FC.
It was 2013 however when he set up Shred Direct – a data shredding company which in the last year collected, shredded and re-cycled more than 500 tonnes of confidential waste and waste paper.
Graeme, now 46, and his two drivers make 260 collections per month from businesses and organisations throughout the North East – including solicitors, Newcastle Building Society and Newcastle United.
Speaking on his work with the club, he said: “It seemed strange at first going back there. I suppose it’s only human nature to think what might have been and perhaps – if injuries could have been treated the way they are now – I might have had a longer career,” said Carter.
But the Shred Direct boss is now entirely focused on his business which this month celebrates its third birthday and has plans for expansion.
“I’ve been doing this type of work for 20 years and during that time there has been a transformation in the way we all work,” said Graeme who sold his first company to Premier Waste Recycling in 2009.
“But despite the increasing use of computers the idea of a paperless office is largely a myth.”