ALMOST 80% of fans who took part in a club poll voted for the famous white chest band to make a return on the home shirt for 2008-09 - and soon they'll be asked to choose the shirt itself.

Given a straight choice to 'Back the Band' or choose 'Simply Red', four out of five fans voted in support of the chest band.

A total of 6,479 took part in the poll either online through the club's official website or via text messaging, with 5,014 (77.4%) voting to 'Back the Band' compared to 1,465 (22.6%) who went for 'Simply Red'.

Now, as part of their ongoing consultations with the club's supporters, Boro are giving fans the chance to choose the club's new-look home shirt for the 2008-09 season.

Boro will shortly unveil three shirt designs, each featuring the chest band. The shirt receiving the most votes in a poll among supporters will become next season's home shirt.

Chief Operating Officer Neil Bausor said: "Many thanks to all Boro supporters who took part in the Battle of the Band poll.

"Our fans' views are important to us so we were delighted that so many took the opportunity to have their say.

"The votes went heavily in favour of the chest band returning to the strip next season, so we will happily reinstall it to our home shirt for 2008-09."

Boro have historically worn red shirts with a white trim but - as the poll results indicate - many fans feel the white chest band first introduced by former manager Jack Charlton in 1973 is now the iconic Boro brand.

Next season will be the 14th time in the last 36 seasons that Boro's shirt has featured a chest band.

Apart from Charlton's champions of 1973-74, the chest band also featured on Boro shirts of the mid-1980s as the club was reborn under Steve Gibson's guidance, the 1997-98 promotion season and more recently the 2006 UEFA Cup heroics.