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Commonwealth Games 2002

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Tuesday, 5 March, 2002, 15:38 GMT
Flat cap heads for image row
Actress Suranne Jones reveals the crew uniforms
The flat cap replaces the usual baseball hat
Volunteers and staff at the Commonwealth Games will sport flat caps as part of their distinctive uniform.

The traditional Mancunian headgear will replace the baseball cap usually worn by staff at sporting events.

It is hoped the northern twist will give the games - watched by millions of people across the world - a distinctive feel.

But some local organisations have said the move is simply reaffirming the stereotype of the north of England.

The organisers might as well go the whole hog and bring back cobbles and ferrets down the trousers

Phil O'Neill, editor of Cheshire Life

The uniforms were revealed on Tuesday by Coronation Street star Suranne Jones, who plays Karen Phillips, outside an Asda store in central Manchester on Tuesday.

Designed by the supermarket chain, more than 125,000 items of clothing will be worn by Crew 2002 - as the staff and volunteers will be known.

Beth Watson, Asda's chief designer, said: "We are particularly pleased with the design of the Mancunian flat cap which could become a collector's item after the Games."

But Phil O'Neill, editor of Cheshire Life, magazine told BBC News Online the caps were like "turning the clock back 50 years".

"We at Cheshire Life have been fighting against these northern stereotypes for years.

'Stylish uniforms'

"The organisers might as well go the whole hog and bring back cobbles and ferrets down the trousers.

"It just reaffirms the image that southern England wants to keep of Manchester.

"If they are looking for style in Manchester they don't have to look any further than David Beckham... he wouldn't be seen dead in a flat cap."

Frances Done, chief executive of Manchester 2002 - the company organising the Games - said: "Crew 2002 are the ambassadors of the Games and it is important that they are easily recognisable as they carry out their Games roles.

"I'm sure everyone will wear these stylish uniforms with pride as they represent our city this summer."

Challenging project

All uniform jackets will carry a message from the president of the Commonwealth Games, the Earl of Wessex, which read: "Thank you - we couldn't have done this without you".

Ms Watson added: "This was a challenging project for our team - to create an outfit which will be worn by 16 to 80-year-olds, with sizes ranging from extra extra small to extra extra large.

Crew 2002 members will also carry a bag, water bottle, poncho and umbrella, all bearing the Commonwealth Games logo.

All the uniforms are colour-coded with red jackets and polo shirts for medical staff, jade for technical employees and general workers will wear purple.

They will all wear black trousers. Senior management will wear black tailored suits, with jade shirts and ties for the men and jade shirts and scarves for women.

Click here to go to Manchester
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