England Amputee Football star Gary Marheineke reflects on World Cup experience

Gary Marheineke training with the England Amputee team at St Ives Outdoor Centre.

Gary Marheineke training with the England Amputee team at St Ives Outdoor Centre. - Credit: Archant

Gary Marheineke has described the experience of representing his country in a major international tournament as being “out of this world”.

Huntingdon man Marheineke starred for England in the World Cup of Amputee Football in Mexico earlier this month.

And while the goalkeeper was unable to secure glory due to an early exit in the knockout stages, he returned with fond memories.

Marheineke said: “To walk out for a big game with the badge on your chest and singing the national anthem is just brilliant.”

England beat eventual tournament runners-up Angola in their opening group game and were awarded victory in their second fixture as Ghana had failed to arrive in time.

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Their reward was a last 16 showdown against Turkey who had beaten them earlier in the year in the final of a European competition.

And once again England tasted defeat as they went down 1-0.

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They responded by beating Italy 7-0 and El Salvador 4-0 in play-off matches for the minor places and ended with a ranking of 10th.

Marheineke added: “Seeing Angola go all the way to the final made us think about what might have been. We played them off the pitch in our first game.

“It was unfortunate that we ran into Turkey so early in the knockout stage. It was a surprise they didn’t top their group.

“We had chances in that game, but lacked the end product and that is what cost us in the end.”

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