England call up for local lads

A PAIR of Whitby residents have been called up to the England squad for an international football competition this summer.

Barry Carter and Stephen Harding both live on Hudson Street in accommodation provided by Marwood Healthcare and have been called up to the MENCAP England football team.

The two men will represent their country at a four-day tournament in Switzerland next month.

32-year-old Steven is a speedy midfielder, while Barry will be hoping to secure the England goalkeeping jersey.

The two men attend the Sunday Club at Whitby Leisure Centre and 41-year-old Barry said: “I was diagnosed with a learning disability from my behaviour, going back years.

“Since I moved into the residential home I’ve turned my life around, I’m not the Barry I used to be.

“Life now is a lot better than what life was before and I realise what I’ve been missing out on.”

The pair also regularly play for a MENCAP football team based in Middlesbrough and attended trials in Warwickshire, among 100 other hopefuls, before being selected for the 15-man England squad.

“Football is brilliant, I love it because you get to meet new people,” said Barry.

“To play for England is amazing.

“It’s out of this world, it’s a once in a lifetime thing.”

Leeds supporter Steven added: “It’s good isn’t it, I’m totally buzzing about it.”

This will be the first time both men have left the country, meaning that they needed to get passports to attend.

Before they depart there is also the added bonus of a warm-up match against Bradford City football club.

However, they do have to pay for their own flights and equipment for the trip and so the players are asking for help sponsoring their trip.

Sponsorship can help towards paying for their flights or can just be a new pair of shin pads, but they added that any help they receive would be greatly appreciated.

If you can help call (01947) 603367.

Whitby Leisure Centre’s Sunday Club takes place between 6pm and 7pm in the sports hall and pool and activities include football, badminton and aerobics. There is also a community room for cards, dominoes and darts. Entry costs £2.80 per person, carers free.