Page last updated at 11:18 GMT, Tuesday, 4 August 2009 12:18 UK

JD Sports buys rugby shirt brand

Portsmouth player Peter Crouch wearing the club's Canterbury made top
Canterbury recently expanded into other sports

Sportswear firm JD Sports Fashion has bought the European arm of the rugby shirt specialists Canterbury, which was in administration.

The deal has raised hopes that some of the Stockport-based firm's sponsorship deals will be maintained.

Canterbury makes the shirts for rugby teams including the Scottish national side, Leinster, Wasps and Cardiff.

Canterbury Europe got into difficulties after expanding into other sports, such as football and cricket.

It made shirts for Portsmouth Football Club and Yorkshire and Hampshire cricket clubs.

JD Sports is paying £6.5m for Canterbury Europe, as well as the global rights to the Canterbury brand.

Internationally, Canterbury is best known as the sponsor of South Africa and Australia's national rugby union teams.

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