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Friday, 29 May 2015

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That’s the way to do it, Roy!

AN ENGLAND football team have tasted victory in Brazil this summer.


But while Roy Hodgson’s men are fighting to get out of Group D of the World Cup, Hexham FC captain and Haltwhistle Jubilee defender Gavin Cox was part of a five-a-side team which beat one of Brazil’s top female teams.

As part of a competition run by Strongbow, 30-year-old Cox was chosen as one of the eight men who travelled to Rio to inflict an 8-1 defeat on their hosts.

And he proved a game changer, coming on at half time with his side leading 2-1 before the floodgates opened, Cox adding his name to the scoresheet with a smart finish.

But the football came second to the trip in general, the Hexham lad thrilled by all he saw in the iconic South American city.

He said: “I was very lucky to have the opportunity to go to Rio and it is something that I will definitely never forget. You hear about people winning competitions but you never expect it to happen to you, and it was a fantastic experience and stuff that dreams are made of.”

The trip all came about when he and some of his Hexham teammates - Liam Heenan, Marco Carosini, Stuart Brown and Thomas North - formed Hexham Hoops in the nationwide competition Strongbow’s Earn it to Rio.

In addition to a five-a-side competition, in which Hexham finished runners-up in, the lads were put through mock press conferences, and their skills were monitored by former professional players Chris Kamara and Mark Wright.

Despite missing out as a team, it was announced that one of the Hoops were to be taken as one of three replacements - Cox pipping teammate North in a public vote!

Meanwhile, as the world's footballing giants battle it out in Brazil, an international football tournament on a slightly different scale is set to take place in Tynedale.

Teams from France, Germany, Spain and the Czech Republic will be descending on Wentworth Leisure Centre, in Hexham, tomorrow for their 10th annual international tournament.

England are represented in the six-a-side competition by two teams from Tynedale's Have We Got Enough FC, the name coming about because they were often unsure if they had enough players for a game!

The international visitors, who hail from Perpignan, Berlin, Madrid and Prague, will also be enjoying a range of non-sporting experiences over their three days in the North-East, including an evening in Newcastle, and Ladies’ Day at Hexham Racecourse.

David Thompson, of Have We Got Enough FC, said: "Our tournament is always highly competitive, yet it's always played in a great spirit. We've developed a lot of firm friendships over the years, and all the teams enjoy their time off the pitch as much as on it."