More than a £1 million worth of counterfeit football shirts have been seized by trading standards officers in the week the new Premier League season kicks off.

The huge haul, including Chelsea and Liverpool strips, was recovered in a raid on a warehouse in north Staffordshire in an intelligence-led operation.

Inside were boxes packed full of thousands of shirts, including those of European sides Real Madrid, PSG (Paris Saint-Germain), FC Porto and Benfica.

Trading standards officers with Staffordshire County Council warned that not only do counterfeit shirts cheat businesses, and the taxman, they often fail basic fire safety checks.

Also recovered among the boxes were fake mobile phone components, sunglasses and dodgy razor blades.

Councillor Gill Heath, cabinet member responsible for trading standards, said: "As well as taking money from reputable businesses, there's no guarantee that counterfeit clothing like these shirts meets high standards and safety legislation, making them potentially dangerous.

"There have been cases before where fake clothing does not pass fire safety tests, sunglasses that don't offer protection from UV rays, and fake electronics that have exploded.

"These products may be tempting because they look like a bargain, but it's not worth the risk to your health and safety."

The raid came about after a tip-off from the National Trading Standards' border team based at East Midlands Airport.

These specialist teams are based at ports, airports and postal hubs in 14 regions around the country, cataloguing dangerous and illegal contraband being shipped into the country.

Research carried out for the European Commission last year found that of all counterfeit goods seized, a third were potentially dangerous.

Councillor Heath added: "The increase in the amount of dangerous and counterfeit products seized at ports is a worrying trend.

"People should always buy from reputable retailers, as that way you will have peace of mind that these products are safe, and that the money you pay is going to legitimate sources and not potentially funding criminal activity."