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
  • Get to the point
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

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...