Sir Tom Hunter forged closer ties with sports retailer Sports Direct yesterday with the purchase of more than £1m of its shares. Sir Tom, founder of private equity house West Coast Capital, bought 392,156 Sports Direct shares at £2.55 each. The purchase came just a month after he sold two clothing chains, USC and Cruise Fashion, to Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct for a total of £7m. USC had fallen into administration in 2008 while owned by West Coast, but Sir Tom bought back most of its stores and revived the brand. He remains chairman of both USC and Cruise.