By the early 1980s in England competition sponsorship had opened the way to club shirt sponsorship. Abroad, the wearing of product names on club shirts was already common.

In 1978 Liverpool became the first British club to have a shirt sponsor.Sponsors names in England were initially limited in size by the Football League in order to placate fans and the 'non advertising' BBC. Some products cigarettes for example were considered 'not suitable' for football shirts, though alcohol products are still regularly featured on shirts. Most sponsors are private companies, but: WBA has had sponsorship from the Health Education Council; Millwall has promoted safe sex; and Hull City were sponsored in 1997/98 by the University of Hull

Can you spot the fake shirt and the real McCoy?
It's the pride and joy of any self respecting football fan but is the shirt on your back the real McCoy? Inside Out investigates counterfeit football shirts.

Every football season eager Magpie fans queue up to grab the new Newcastle United football shirt.

Newcastle United fans spend millions of pounds each year buying these replica kits. It's a symbol of pride and any self-respecting Toon Army fan has to have one.

But many supporters could be buying shoddy copies smuggled into Britain by organised gangs.

Away from the bright lights of St James' Park, counterfeiters are one step ahead of the game. Inside Out travelled to Bangkok to investigate the growing problem of counterfeit shirts.

Directed by :

Written by: Jim Boardman

starring: Jerzy Dudek, Martin Roche, Melanie Mackerth

co-starring: Adam Wright, A Liverpool FC spokesman, a police spokeswoman

Genre: Crime and Mystery

year: 2006

country: United Kingdom

synopsis: In this crime drama,some dogged Merseyside Police agents are on the case to investigate one of the U.K.'s most infamous shirt robberies.

Quote: "A lot of this stuff which has been stolen is irreplaceable and you can't put a price on it. Jerzy is obviously devastated," a Liverpool spokesman

by Alex Bellos

Even if you don’t know who Aldyr Garcia Schlee is, you are definitely acquainted with his creation.

In 1953 he designed the Brazilian football strip. The yellow shirt with green collar and cuffs is today the best-known outfit in world sport – not just international football.

The shirt was first worn in 1954. To celebrate its fiftieth anniversary we asked Aldyr – who is now 69 – to write us a personal history of the shirt through all the World Cups between 1954 and 2002.

This is the result. It is a wonderful and moving story through Brazilian football, Brazilian history, Aldyr’s life and the life that the shirt took once he designed it.

Football is one of the most popular sports in the world. It is a global phenomenon that has no boundaries in race or geography. While the World Cup 2006 is proceeding at full steam in Germany, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the National Football Museum in England have joined forces to present the "Football" exhibition, organised by the Hong Kong Museum of History in collaboration with the Hong Kong Football Association.

More than 150 items carefully selected by the National Football Museum and the Hong Kong Football Association will be on display from  (June 21) until September 18 at the Museum of History.

There's been much said about George Best - his footballing genius, his flamboyant lifestyle and of course his drinking. But one man from Chorlton remembers a gentle side of George. This is the story of the superstar and the ballboy:

John Edwards was a 15-year-old ballboy at Old Trafford during George Best's heyday at United.

As a United-mad teenager, he lived on Maitland Avenue, just round the corner from where George lived in digs with Mrs Fulloway in Chorlton.

And when John asked his hero for his United shirt, George didn't let him down. These are John's memories of George Best:

On the eve of the 2006 World Cup, The Royle Family’s Ricky Tomlinson gets off the sofa and embarks on a fascinating quest to track down the most famous shirts in English sporting history.

Four hundred million people watched spellbound on July 30th 1966 as, in the final moments of extra time, Geoff Hurst powered home his third goal to give England a 4-2 victory against Germany in the World Cup final.

As Beckham and the boys set out to replicate this awe-inspiring moment 40 years later, what has become of Bobby Moore’s heroic team and their famous shirts?

In this exclusive new UKTV show, football fanatic Tomlinson packs his kit bag and goes off in search of the ten iconic red shirts - plus Gordon Bank’s yellow keeper’s jersey - that were worn on that famous summer afternoon.

Football shirt suppliers have been found guilty of ripping off millions of customers by fixing the prices of replica kits, the Evening Standard can reveal.

The Football Association, shirt manufacturers Umbro and a string of high street sports shop chains are facing a total of £100 million in fines.

The verdict comes after a two-year investigation by the Office of Fair Trading. The OFT's damning report has concluded that shirt makers and suppliers broke competition law by selling England and Manchester United tops for upwards of £39.99 when they cost just £7 to make.

For Arsenal’s last season at Highbury, the Club’s home since 1913, the players will wear, for home matches, a special commemorative strip.

The shirt, redcurrant in colour, matches the shade of the team’s strip in the Club’s first season at Highbury. Adorned with gold lettering and the Club crest the shirt is accompanied by white shorts and redcurrant socks.

In addition, the strip is manufactured, despite its authentic look, from the latest ‘breathable’ lightweight sports fabric.

A piece of England's World Cup folklore which has been in German hands for the last 40 years went on public display in London today before going under the hammer next week.

The red No 2 shirt worn by England full back George Cohen during the 1966 World Cup final at Wembley is expected to sell for at least £20,000 when it comes up for auction at Christie's on Tuesday.