British rocker Gavin Rossdale is to play legendary English soccer star STAN MORTENSEN in his movie debut.

The BUSH star, who is married to No Doubt's Gwen Stefani, has "a small but pivotal role" in new sports film THE GAME OF THEIR LIVES - all about the USA's shock 1-0 victory over a seemingly unbeatable England side in the 1950 Brazilian WORLD CUP.

The win sent shockwaves around the sporting world, and prompted fierce critics of the English game to call the team complacent.

Mortensen was expected to take centre stage in the game against the USA in Belo Horizonte, but it was Haitian-born centre-forward LARRY GAETJENS who became the headline maker with his winning goal.

Rossdale, who starts shooting his role as the Blackpool goalscoring ace in St Louis this weekend (20JUN03), admits the role is more demanding than he thought.

He explains, "I have to do really crazy stuff like run through the whole field, beat everyone, and, just at the end, stop - and someone takes my legs out.

"I used to play a lot of soccer, but it was never quite like this."

The rocker jumped at the chance to play the sports hero because he loved the story of hard-up soccer-loving kids making it big and beating the best.

He adds, "It's a very cool story about these kids growing up in Brooklyn and they play these Ivy League guys and get in the team and then they play England and they beat us 1-0.

"Stan Mortensen was a really great English footballer to boot."

18/06/2003 09:05