NATIONAL HONOUR: England captain Owen Bainbridge meets his opposite number for Germany
NATIONAL HONOUR: England captain Owen Bainbridge meets his opposite number for Germany

A FORMER dale resident has been appointed captain of the England Blind Football team.
Owen Bainbridge, who lives in Hereford but grew up near Cockfield, earned the honour ahead of two matches against Germany on Saturday, November 27, and Sunday, November 28.
Both matches ended in goalless draws.
Mr Bainbridge said: “They were friendlies and we are just getting back (into international blind football) after two years because of coronavirus. This weekend we had two lads get their caps for the first time so that was amazing. You always want to win but it is two years and we didn’t concede so we have kept a clean sheet.”
It was a different outcome on Mr Bainbridge’s England debut in 2010 where the team won 2-0 against Germany.
Since then, the 32-year-old has played 72 international matches against the likes of Brazil, Argentina, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, Germany and France.
He has also travelled all over Europe, The Far East and South America.
Since moving to Hereford, where he has a contract with the FA and also works as a massage therapist, Mr Bainbridge has played for the Royal National College for the Blind where he was appointed captain at the beginning of the season.
The team took top honours this year’s FA Cup after beating Merseyside on penalties in the final.
Mr Bainbridge said: “It was a big day for us. The driving force to win is massive. Being on BT Sport 1, it was huge, getting the sport out there.”
The national team are hoping to play more friendly matches before the European Cup in Italy next year and then a home World Cup in Birmingham in 2023. The Paralympics follow in 2024.
Mr Bainbridge said the team would be hoping to improve on its last European Cup in 2019 in Rome where they came third after losing on penalties in the semi-final.
Mr Bainbridge said he is looking forward to returning to Teesdale this Christmas to see friends and family.