Firefighters playing for their country

FIREFIGHTERS will be swapping hoses for goals when they represent their country in a football competition.

Cleveland Fire Brigade’s football team will be representing the UK Fire Service in this year’s European Fire Service Indoor Football Championships.

The squad qualified after winning the UK competition last year and will be competing from May 14 to 18 in Ostrava, in the Czech Republic, where Middlesbrough played their first European tie in 2004.

Cleveland Fire Brigade has won the UK competition more times than any other fire service and this is the third time they will represent the UK, after winning in Holland in 1986.

Team manager Steve McCarten, who is the manager at Billingham Fire Station, said: “There will be three days of football between 10 European nations – the UK, Romania, Greece, Germany, Hungary, France, Czech Republic, Poland, Luxembourg and Slovakia.

“We are very proud to be representing the UK Fire Services this year and hope we come back with the winning trophy.”