COUNTERFEITERS suffered a costly own goal after trading standards officers seized fake England soccer shirts.
They swooped on clothing wholesalers in Leeds and Bradford to stop more than 1,000 shirts valued at £30,000 and England towels being sold across West Yorkshire.
The people who had made them handed them over and lost all the money they had spent making them.
The forthcoming World Cup has led to a massive increase in England merchandise on sale, which led to the swoop on the fake shirts and towels.
West Yorkshire Chief Trading Standards Officer Graham Hebblethwaite said: "The problem of counterfeit goods is highlighted during times such as the World Cup.
"We work closely with groups such as the Football Association and the Umbro kit company to combat this illicit trade and ensure that illegal items are removed from the market place."
Kirklees councillor Tony Brice, a member of the West Yorkshire Trading Standards Committee, said: "The sale of counterfeit goods affects the profits of legitimate traders who are selling genuine England World Cup memorabilia.
"I hope this is a warning to all those traders who believe they can make a quick profit in dealing in counterfeit products."
Umbro brand protection manager Mark Rowley said: "We will continue to make every effort to protect our brand vigorously.
"We value the work of Trading Standards, especially at such a time, when the problem of counterfeit football merchandise is at its highest.
"Hopefully, this operation will send a clear message to any traders intending to sell counterfeit goods throughout the World Cup period."
Anyone with information about counterfeit merchandise should phone Consumer Direct on 08454 040 506.