POLICE investigating a lorry hijack in Flintshire have released a photograph in a bid to catch the culprits.

The HGV, which was carrying England football kits worth £2million, was held up by three armed men wearing balaclavas on Deeside Industrial Estate yesterday.

They threatened the driver at gunpoint and bundled him into a black people carrier before dumping him in the Wigan area of Manchester.

The lorry was later found burnt out, minus its load, in St Helens.

The driver, who had been delivering the kits to the Umbro factory in Deeside at about 8am, works for Ray Stewart Haulage.

Police say the lorry involved was a black Volvo FH12 sleeper cab, with the company’s name written on both sides in gold and silver.

Sergeant Craig Turner, who is leading the investigation, said: “Deeside Industrial Estate is a busy area, especially at this time of the morning, and we are keen to speak to anyone who may have seen the vehicle or noticed anything suspicious.”

The driver was eventually let out of the car at about 9am and managed to make his way to a nearby police station.

The lorry was later found dumped in St Helens minus its load.

A statement from Umbro issued shortly after the raid said: “Umbro has been informed about the incident concerning the stolen England away football shirts, which go on sale to the public on March 3.

“Umbro is co-operating fully with the police on the matter and we encourage anyone who is offered suspicious England away shirts to report the matter to the police immediately.

“We also thank the driver for his efforts and wish him all the best.”

Anyone with information should call Mold CID on 0845 607 1002.