THE England Veterans failed to retain their Seniors World Cup title, falling to a 1-0 defeat in the final against Iran.

Harrogate Veterans Jonny Haigh and Steve Dickinson all started for the Old Lions in Bangkok, as well as Eccleshill United's new manager Lee Elam.

In a cagey, often ill-tempered match, Iran looked strong throughout, not letting the England Veterans settle.

They made life particularly difficult for England striker and captain, Barry Hayles, who was unable to add to his seven goals at this year's tournament.

Iran had spurned a number of golden opportunities to go ahead in the game, but finally found a way past England’s resolute defence with 15 minutes remaining.

Having come back from a goal down to Scotland in Friday's semi-final, with only five minutes to play, England piled everything forward looking for an equaliser, but it wasn’t to be.

Iran’s victory gives them five World Seniors titles, the same number as England, in a tournament which started in 2006.

The Seniors World Cup was initially conceived by the Senior Football Association of Thailand, to promote tourism in the wake of the tsunami, and has become an annual event, held in a different province of Thailand each year. In recent years the tournament has evolved considerably, with many countries fielding ex-professional and some ex-international players.