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Matty 1

Sports tutor Matty wins call-up to England Veterans World Cup squad

York College sports tutor Matty Wain will be hoping to kick off a glorious summer of football for England’s national team after securing a call-up to the Three Lions’ Veterans Squad for the Seniors World Cup.

In just under a month’s time, the likes of Harry Kane, Jude Bellingham and Phil Foden will take on Serbia as Gareth Southgate’s men start their Euro 2024 campaign in Germany.

But, before then, Matty will be among a party travelling to Thailand aiming to retain the World Cup the squad lifted for a record sixth time last year.

The 47-year-old, ex-Selby Town attacker, who still plays open-age football for Stamford Bridge as well as for the Harrogate and York Corinthians Over-35 teams, will represent his country alongside a number of former full internationals, Premier League stars and FA Cup winners.

They include England-born duo Deon Burton and Ian Cox who respectively made Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago’s squads at the actual 1998 and 2006 World Cup finals.

One-time Premier League pro Barry Hayles – another full Jamaican international – has made the plane, too, along with Sean Davis, who lifted the FA Cup with Portsmouth in 2008.

Jon Challinor – a member of York City’s 2012 double Wembley-winning side – has also made the 25-strong playing squad, having turned out for Stamford in the Southern League Premier Division Central last season at the age of 43.

The group will fly out to Thailand on May 29 and will play a friendly against a representative side from the city of Pattaya on June 1.

If the team go all the way to the final, they will then face five 80-minute games during six days from June 3 to June 8 in a tournament that will be televised on a Thai TV channel.

The participating countries – Thailand, Australia, Iran, England, New Zealand, Taiwan, Vietnam and Laos – will initially be split into two groups of four to decide the semi-finalists.

Bangkok’s 51,000-capacity Rajamangala Stadium, where the national team play and Manchester United met Liverpool in a 2022 friendly, will then stage the final followed by a Gala Dinner attended by all sides.

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For Matty, it will represent his second England Veterans trip, having also visited Thailand eight years ago when he claimed a couple of goal assists in a 4-0 victory against the hosts.

This time, he will also be part of the off-field team and, as a UEFA B Licence-qualified coach who once managed Dunnington to the York Minster Engineering League title, will get involved in coaching, match analysis and overseeing social media output.

On the prospect of representing his country at a World Cup, Matty said: “If we get to lift the trophy at the end of the competition that would be great, but just putting an England top on, with the National Anthem playing, will be very special and it will be great to play against different countries in a World Cup.

“I’ve been told I will be getting minutes on the pitch, but my main role will probably be with the management team and I’m really looking forward to that, too. When I came to work at College as a teacher 20 years ago, I was also coaching as well, so that was my background coming into the profession.

“I’ll be analysing the other games and looking at other teams’ weaknesses in management meetings with the players and the analysis work we do in College is something I can bring to the tournament as well.”

Matty added that he is also looking forward to rubbing shoulders with players who have enjoyed showcasing their talent on some of the game’s biggest stages.

“They might not be as fit as some of the lads who are still playing at semi-professional level, but the former international and Premier League players will bring that quality and knowledge of when to do what, which comes with the careers they have had,” he said. “It will also be great just to listen to their stories about the managers they have worked with and team-mates they played alongside.”

The competition will have a one-day break when Football For Kids Day will see all participating teams coach less-privileged school children in the community and players are now seeking donations of old football shirts and boots in all sizes but with a big focus on the younger teenagers who are most in need of them.

“It’s quite overwhelming in Thailand how little money there is in certain areas,” Matty pointed out.

Any donations would be grateful received and can be dropped off at York College with prior arrangement by emailing