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Who are you shouting for?

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 08:46 UK time, Tuesday, 13 June 2006

Will it be for Michael Owen - raised in North Wales and playing for England - or Wrexham defender Dennis Lawrence, a hero of the Trinidad and Tobago team? Either men or the closest we in Wales have got to shout about since our team failed to qualify. But before you make up your mind, we've taken a quick trawl of the world's newspaper headlines to see what they are saying about the World Cup rivals.

The difference between their lifestyles was an obvious angle. Owen plays for Newcastle and leads a millionaire's life with a £2m+ home in Sychdyn, near Mold, and has a helicopter to ferry him between his homes and 'office' and, well, Wrexham defender Lawrence doesn't have either!

In fact, he told Independent reporter Phil Shaw: "His house is one of these [holding his arms a yard apart] and mine is one of these [narrowing them to a foot]. So it's not quite the same."

The Sunday People says Lawrence will complete a 'Roy of the Rovers story' when he lines up for 'no-hopers' Trinidad & Tobago against England.

Frank Wiechula writes: "It crowns a football fairytale for the 6ft 7in defender who fought his way out of the mean streets, worked in a supermarket, became a soldier and didn't turn pro until he was 26."

The Guardian Unlimited draws parallels between Lawrence, known as 'Tallest' by his squad, who will defend against England's Peter Crouch as both men tower over their team-mates at 6ft 7in.

The Scotsman reports that Crouch will have to change his physical style of play against Lawrence - though both big men will have a point to prove - which tends to lead to yellow cards.

Back in Wrexham, the local Evening Leader reported yesterday that Mike Berry, Lawrence's agent, said: "He was a hero before for scoring that winning goal against Bahrain to get them to Germany. Wrexham fans should be so proud of their captain."

Meanwhile, The Times of India describes football as the great leveller. Do you agree? Well, come Thursday we can see for ourselves.

Who will you be shouting for - Lawrence or Owen?


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