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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 March 2006, 13:35 GMT
Special 08 shirts at Mersey derby
James Beattie
The changes were agreed by the FA Premier League
Two top footballers have made history by having their shirt numbers changed for an all-important Merseyside derby.

Everton's James Beattie and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard both wore an "08" shirt on Saturday - marking the city's year as Capital of Culture.

The numbers got special permission from the FA Premier League to promote the 08 Ambassadors Programme.

After the match, at Anfield, the two shirts were being auctioned for charity by the Liverpool Culture Company.

The 08 Ambassadors programme has been created for well-known people to spread the word about the city and its role as European Capital of Culture 2008.

Ambassadors already signed up include Cherie Booth, Ken Dodd, Paul Sculthorpe, Gerry Marsden and former Atomic Kitten singer Liz McClarnon.

Steven Gerrard
The shirts were being auctioned after the Anfield match

Leader of Liverpool City Council, Councillor Warren Bradley, said the 08 shirts were "a tremendous gesture of support".

Gerrard said before the match: "Liverpool has got everything you need, with great places to go and lots to see.

"The derby will be shown live around the world and I'm glad we can help fly the flag for the Capital of Culture 2008."

Unfortunately, the match ended early for Gerrard who was sent off in the 18th minute for a second bookable offence.

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