THE identity of the football fan who has been flying the flag for a quiet corner of the North-East at the World Cup was revealed last night.

Kevin McGuire's parents, Bill and Wendy, could not quite believe their eyes when a St George's cross - bearing the sign Weardale - could clearly be seen behind one of the goals during England's 1-0 victory over Argentina.

"We knew Kevin was at the match and we knew he had taken a special Weardale flag with him to Japan and South Korea, but never in a million years did we expect to see it on television," said Bill, of St John's Chapel, upper Weardale.

"He has certainly put Weardale firmly on the world football map."

Over the weekend, the pubs of the County Durham dale were alive with speculation about who flew the Weardale flag at Sapporo.

The 30-year-old Sunderland supporter, bought the flag from a firm at Morpeth. Alongside Weardale, it incorporates the Sunderland crest.

Kevin has been working in Holland for the past two years, and has taken time off from laminating the hull of a 50ft luxury yacht to go to the World Cup.

His mother said: "He will certainly be flying the flag at the game against Nigeria in Osaka on Wednesday."