ENGLAND'S World Cup campaign may not have got off to a great start - but Embsay already has a football World Cup winner!

Stephen Carling was part of a side representing England that lifted the trophy in the Seniors World Cup tournament in Thailand, featuring teams from across the globe.

Midfielder Stephen is a long-standing member of Harrogate Veterans FC, who won the right to represent the country in a national seniors competition, limited to players over 40.

The Veterans drew 2-2 with Scotland in the final, but won the penalty shootout 5-3. The tournament also featured teams from Australia, Iran, New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Taiwan and home-team Thailand.

Stephen said: "We had three days in Bangkok then moved to Sa Kaeo for the tournament itself. Players may be getting on a bit but the football is of a very good standard - our team has ex-professional players in Gareth Ainsworth, now manager of Wycombe Wanderers, Danny O'Shea who started at Arsenal and had a long league career, and Steve Charles, who played for Sheffield United, Wrexham and Mansfield.

" The Iran team had five players who had represented their country at the actual World Cup."

Harrogate Veterans have represented England at the tournament several times and have won it twice before. The Thailand Seniors World Cup was held for the first time in 2006 in Phuket with the aim of raising funds to help victims of the 2004 tsunami and their families.

Stephen, a plasterer, who has played most of his football in the North-West Counties League, said he hoped the full England squad would be able to emulate the seniors and win their next game against Uruguay tonight (Thursday).

He said: "The result against Italy was obviously disappointing, but I thought England played fairly well throughout the game. They can still do well in the tournament, but they need a good result against Uruguay."