A long-standing Middlesbrough butchers has changed hands – but the name lives on.

After reaching 70 in October, Danny McCluskey, a butcher since 1965, announced that he was hanging up his apron and selling his shop Danny’s Family Butchers in the Dundas Indoor Market.

The decision sparked a flurry of interest from prospective buyers and, for Colin and Craig Mackenzie, it provided an opportunity to fulfil a long-held dream.

“We’ve talked for ages about getting our own business,” said Craig, 26, who first helped out his dad when he was 13. He was trained by his dad to be a butcher and has been working on the meat and fish counter in Morrisons.

Colin has been a butcher for 40 years but said Danny will be a hard act to follow. “The time’s right for him and us. We’re not going to change very much to start with. We’re still going to call the shop Danny’s Family Butchers and I want to try and keep his humour and banter going. Part of the job is to be a good listener and a friend for your regulars – and Danny was so good at that,” he said.

The pair will be introducing additional ranges of fresh meat – rabbit, goat and game – and will be providing their older customers with small ‘pensioner portions’. They also plan to introduce environmentally friendly packaging.

During his last few days, Danny was overwhelmed with cards and gifts from customers. “Quite a few have been in tears,” he said.

David Harris, the manager of Dundas Indoor Market, said: “It will be very strange for me, his fellow traders and customers not to see Danny every day. But I’m already getting to know Colin and Craig and – as well as knowing the job inside out – they’ve got great personalities and are a really good fit for the market.”

Danny’s final day was Saturday and the new Danny’s Family Butchers opens on Tuesday.