World Cup begins in Bedford with England V Spain at Kempston Rovers

England V Spain World Cup match between staff at Bedford Hospital.
England V Spain World Cup match between staff at Bedford Hospital.

Forget Wayne Rooney lining-up against Carlos Puyol or Steven Gerrard facing “Xavi” Hernández, Bedford is hosting its very own World Cup.

The town’s version of England versus Spain kicks off Sunday, May 4 with an ‘international friendly’.

Bedford Hospital staff from both nations will form teams representing ‘England’ and ‘Spain’ and compete to win the Reg Hulatt Trophy at AFC Kempston Rovers’s ground.

Bedford Hospital ‘England’ captain and goalkeeper Ian Chang has organised the match, and predicts a high-scoring game.

Ian, a medical records clerk, said: “We have had almost 100 Spanish staff join the hospital over the last six months, and a lot of them are as football-mad as my friends and I are.

“There’s already been World Cup banter, so it’s time to see whose country really is the best. There’s no room for hiding - if the scores are level after 90 minutes there will be a penalty shoot-out.”

‘Spain’ captain Alejandro Garcia, staff nurse, Real Madrid fan and tough-tackling defender, said: ”I am hoping for a cup double this summer – ‘Spain’ to beat ‘England’ in Bedford, and Real Madrid to win the Champions League!”

The kick off is at 2pm on Sunday, May 4 at AFC Kempston Rovers’ ground, Hillgrounds Road.

Family tickets are £5, adults £3, under-fives free. Proceeds go to Bedford Hospital’s Charity.