Yorke is main attraction in showdown with Welsh

Any doubts as to who will have star billing when Wales and Trinidad & Tobago contest a friendly here tonight are dispelled by the advertising hoardings around this elegant Austrian city. "Die Welt-Meister Sensation Live in Graz!'' screams the slogan. The would-be world master pictured is Dwight Yorke.

The description may be a trifle over-the-top, but the finest footballer the Caribbean has produced is not going to Germany next month to make up the numbers. Now 34 and playing in Australia, Yorke trained with his old club, Manchester United, towards the end of the English season - and Trinidad's meeting with England in Nuremberg on 15 June was a constant source of stick.

"I had it every day,'' grinned Yorke, who captains his country. "Gary Neville marked me in practice and it was all 'This is what I'm going to do to you' from us both. Rio [Ferdinand] and [Wayne] Rooney, too. We'll probably be texting and phoning each other during the tournament.

"The one thing I don't want is to be coming off humiliated by 6-0 or 7-0. I want us to compete, and if we do that, who knows what may happen?'' Yorke was a teenager newly-signed to Aston Villa when Trinidad blew their opportunity to qualify for Italia 90 by losing at home to the United States. When he retired from international football - before being enticed back after Leo Beenhakker became manager of the Soca Warriors - it seemed his chance had gone.

"I was only a kid 17 years ago, and missing out was very hard to accept. It was difficult whenever the World Cup came around. Even when you love your country, you think: 'Why wasn't I born in England?' I'd look at players like George Best and Ryan Giggs and know how deep their grieving was at not having the chance. This is the ultimate.''

There will be no reunion with Giggs in Graz because the Welsh captain is injured. The Wales manager, John Toshack, recalled yesterday how he followed Beenhakker into Real Madrid and said the Dutch coach, a good friend, wants to use all 22 fit players in the UPN Arena, formerly the Arnold Schwarzenegger Stadium.

Toshack must field an inexperienced side, with Gareth Bale, 16, among the substitutes. The Southampton defender, a former room-mate of Theo Walcott, will become Wales' youngest ever player if he appears.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue