Essex link to Beck's Real kit

FOR the past few weeks speculation surrounding about where England football captain and fashion icon David Beckham would play next season has gripped the nation.

FOR the past few weeks speculation surrounding about where England football captain and fashion icon David Beckham would play next season has gripped the nation.

But now he has revealed that he is to join Spanish giants Real Madrid for £25 million, just one question remains – what number will he wear?

For, while Beckham has always walked onto the pitch in the number seven shirt that will not be the case at Real, where Spanish star Raul has already laid claim to it.

The answer to the numerical question may first be known in Essex, where a local company has just secured the contract to design and make the numbers and lettering for the world-famous Real Madrid kit.


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Chris Kay International, which is based in Station Road, Witham, is Europe's largest manufacturer of sports numbers.

Along with providing the lettering and numbers for Premier League teams since 1994, the company, which was formed in Ireland in 1982, also provides the same service for the England national squad.

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Anthony Barnett, communications director for Chris Kay, said company chiefs travelled to Madrid's Bernabau Stadium last week to officially launch the new kit, which fans will be able to buy from July onwards.

He added: "It is a very worthwhile contract to us. We've been working towards this with Real Madrid and Adidas – the kit manufacturers – for some time, so it wasn't a huge surprise.

"That said, we are all very excited about it – it's caused a bit of a fever, and people have been running around talking Spanish and things like that."

The company has developed a new typestyle for the Madrid shirts, which features two colour versions to contrast with the kit – white shirts will have names and numbers in black, outlined with gold, while the coloured kits will feature white letters outlined in black.

When it comes to the question of Beckham's new number though, Mr Barnett said that the company has yet to find out.

But he added: "We will certainly be one of the first to find out which number David Beckham is going to wear next season.

"There has been some speculation already about it – in Spain last week they were showing the number 77, but I think that was a joke, and the number 11 has also been mentioned.

"I don't know exactly when we'll find out what number Beckham is going to wear, but we expect to hear sometime during July."

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