The England team will continue to wear Umbro branded shirts even if, as now looks certain, Nike succeed in a takeover bid

Umbro, the maker of the England football team's kit, has agreed to be bought by US sportswear giant Nike in a deal worth £285m ($580m).

Nike said the deal would allow it to "significantly expand" its presence in "a key growth category" for the firm. As well as providing kit for the England team, Umbro also supplies the kit for six Premier League clubs. The Football Association said Nike had assured it that the FA's relationship with Umbro would be protected. Manchester-based Umbro said last month that sales of England tops had been "disappointing", and analysts are concerned that sales could suffer if England fail to qualify for next year's European Championship.

Nike, the American sportswear giant, is believed to have sparked a £220 million bid battle for Umbro, the official England football kit maker founded 83 years ago

Nike, the $32 billion American sports-wear giant, is believed to be close to launching a bid for Umbro, the official England football kit maker.

Umbro shares soared 27.5 per cent yesterday, valuing the company at £220 million as it revealed that it had received an approach from an unnamed suitor. Despite fervent speculation of a move by Mike Ashley, the Sports Direct billionaire who has built a 15.04 per cent stake in Umbro over the past two months, sources close to the deal ruled out the tycoon and said Nike was the interested party. Sources insisted that the two sides had been in discussions for some time and details of a preliminary offer could be announced “in days rather than weeks”.

Self-cleaning fabrics could revolutionize the sport apparel industry. The same technology, created by scientists working for the U.S. Air Force, has already been used to create t-shirts and underwear that can be worn hygenically for weeks without washing.

Self-cleaning fabrics could revolutionize the sport apparel industry. The same technology, created by scientists working for the U.S. Air Force, has already been used to create t-shirts and underwear that can be worn hygienically for weeks without washing.

The new technology attaches nanoparticles to clothing fibers using microwaves. Then, chemicals that can repel water, oil and bacteria are directly bound to the nanoparticles. These two elements combine to create a protective coating on the fibers of the material. This coating both kills bacteria, and forces liquids to bead and run off (see diagram above).

Classic Football Shirts