Melton team-mates captain England veterans side in USA tour

England Over 60s football team, featuring defensive stalwarts Stannard (back row, centre) and Suggett (front row, third from right) EMN-191007-083225002
England Over 60s football team, featuring defensive stalwarts Stannard (back row, centre) and Suggett (front row, third from right) EMN-191007-083225002
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Melton football mates Adrian Stannard and Barry Suggett proudly wore the Three Lions once again on an stateside tour.

Goalkeeper Stannard and defender Suggett, former Melton Town team-mates, were called up for the England Over 60s squad for their tour to Boston, in the United States.

Both Melton players, who have played for England age group sides for several seasons, also had the honour of captaining the team for one game each.

Stannard, from Harby, said: “The whole team, selected from across the country, had a fantastic seven days in America and built some strong ties with our American counterparts over the pond.”

They were scheduled to play two matches against New England League Select XI and New England League Champions on a tour sponsored by global companies Actuity and Bebeto.

The ever-keen veterans opened with an evening friendly with a local league team, played in temperatures which hit 30 degrees.

Having watched the England women lose narrowly to the United States in the Women’s World Cup semi-finals, the England vets were out for revenge and ran out 5-2 winners.

Wednesday’s game against the Select XI was different altogether, with the whole team a little lethargic in the soaring temperatures and high humidity.

With the game goalless going into the final 10 minutes, the hosts brought on their secret weapon, a speedy 54-year-old Peruvian striker who twice outpaced a tiring England defence to score two goals in the final five minutes.

Saturday’s match against the League Champions kicked off at 9am, but the temperature had already hit 35 degrees, topped off by 76 per cent humidity.

England took an early lead, only to be trailing 2-1 at half-time.

Soon after the break the visitors equalised, only to concede a sloppy goal shortly afterwards.

But showing great character and fighting spirit as the temperature hit 38 degrees, two quick goals saw England take a 4-3 lead.

They held on, with Suggett and Stannard surviving a final onslaught to secure victory.