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Find inexpensive football tops for kids

If your child insists on a brand new Liverpool or Manchester United shirt every season, the expense is not inconsiderable, with official replica football tops costing upwards of £50. Try to persuade them to stand out from the crowd with a shirt that is a little different (and costs less!).

Encourage your children to be more cosmopolitan. Ebay (www.ebay.co.uk) is packed with offers on brand-new shirts from all over the world, in a variety of fabulous colours and designs. Persuade them that it is far cooler to pull on a Kashima Antlers, Twente Enschede or Cagliari shirt than those same old Premier League club colours.

Look out for World Cup surplus shirts. A year after the tournament finished, markets are still awash with national team shirts. It might be hard to come up with a cheap deal on a Spain shirt, but traders are virtually giving away the shirts of World Cup flops like France, Argentina and, sadly, England.

Keep an eye on those beach stalls on your European holidays. Football jerseys emblazoned with the names of the local stars are a common sight at every Spanish, Portuguese, Greek or Italian resort. These are unlikely to be official products, but usually come in a large range of kids' sizes, and you can often get change out of a 10 euro note. Just check beforehand that your son or daughter really does love Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.

If you are buying for a children's club team, or a school side, visit Clubline (www.clublinefootball.com), where you can find a huge range of jerseys, many of them in famous club colours and designs. Prices are as low as £10 each for top quality football tops.

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