GIBRALTAR is a long way from the playing fields of Sutton, but after travelling the world with the Army 31-year-old Mark Edzes is settled and loving his football on the territory located on the southern tip of Spain.

Edzes originally honed his footballing skills at Sutton Junction FC in the early years, with a short spell at St Helens Town, before moving on to Richmond Town and then playing at core level with the REME team whilst serving with the forces.

But since leaving the Army and moving out to Gibraltar in March 2020, Edzes has established himself in the Manchester 62 team and is currently club captain.

St Helens Star:

And he has earned the plaudits as the defensive rock at the back having just been awarded defender of the year after remarkably playing every minute of every game for his side in the Gibraltar Football League.

That competition features the territory’s best players, including those who represent Gibraltar in the European Championship group stages, competing against the bigger continental nations.

Edzes combines his football with his job, working as a full-time marine engineer contracted to MOD vessels – and is loving the life out there and the opportunities it has presented.

Edzes explained: “I joined the army at 16, left home and travelled and served all over the world during a 12-year-career, one of those places being Gibraltar in 2018.

“I fell in love with and knew one day I wanted to move here. Luckily for me I also unknowingly met my now wife who is from Gibraltar back in 2018.

“I am club captain of Manchester 62 playing at centre back in the Gibraltar football league all games can be watched live on YouTube GFA TV.

“The season has finished we came runners up in the challenge group, after winning our last seven games.”

Star readers with long memories may recall Edzes being featured in the newspaper in the noughties for a quite different sport.

He was a one-time junior kickboxing champion as a youngster, but called time on that sport aged 14 to focus on his future.

However, during that time he was North West champion on multiple occasions and fought for the English title.