Used by pro footballers and an object of desire for schoolboy wannabes are top-of-the-line Mitre Premier League Pro-Max footballs. So prized are they that when Ian Wright kicked one into the crowd recently at an England v Norway game, a small boy thought he'd just copped the ultimate gift from his hero. Mitre has been making footballs since the 1880s, virtually when football first started in this country. They have leading credibilty with regard to development and design, and a deal with the FA and Scottish FA to supply most of the major clubs. Retailing at pounds 49.99, a Mitre Pro-Max Premier League football is a pricey but perfect present for football freaks. Also on fanatics' birthday lists are the latest Adidas Predator football boots. These feature a special rubber vamp over the toes to give more swerve and kicking accuracy. At a mere pounds 119.99, so they should.
Mitre footballs at Soccer Scene, 30-31 Great Marlborough St W1 1HA (071-439 0778) Mon-Sat 9.30am-6pm/Thurs 9pm-7pm. Predators available at most sports shops.