MIDDLESBROUGH Ladies will embark on a once-in-alifetime football trip later this month when they travel to North Korea for a twogame tour.

A group of 14 players and three coaching staff will travel to the North Korean capital Pyongyang between September 18-23.

The trip, which was the suggestion of the British Embassy in Pyongyang, will celebrate the special relationship that was forged between Middlesbrough and North Korea during the 1966 World Cup.

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North Korea beat Italy at Ayresome Park in one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history, and the North Korean players became firm favourites on Teesside as a result.

The surviving members of the 1966 squad – including Pak Do Ik, the scorer of the winning goal against Italy – will meet the Middlesbrough Ladies team during the tour, which will feature two friendly matches and a series of coaching sessions with local children.

MFC Ladies manager Marrie Wieczorek said: “Everyone is so excited about the trip. It’s such a fantastic opportunity for all of us to visit a country that we could never have imagined getting to see.

“I know North Korea is shrouded in mystery for many people in the UK, but I get the impression that the Koreans will be wonderful hosts.

“The trip is very much about friendship and is evidence of football’s power to break down cultural barriers.

It has all come about thanks to the wonderful support the people of Middlesbrough and Teesside as a whole gave the Koreans at the 1966 World Cup.”