A TRIP of a lifetime to faraway China had a silver lining for Lytham footballer Gavin Malin.
He was part of the Great Britain squad that reached the final of the soccer tournament at the World University Games in Shenzhen.
Great Britain produced a battling display to get to the final, where they were beaten by Japan, who took the gold medal, winning 2-0.
GB had to be content with a well-deserved silver, after beating Brazil, Canada and Ghana along the way to the final.
Goals from Mitsunari Musaka and Kazuya Yamamura secured Japan’s 23rd gold medal of the Games, and their first gold in the men’s football since 2003 in Izmir.
Team GB had their chances to reduce the deficit, but they couldn’t apply the crucial finish.
Daniel Sleath (Loughborough University) headed over and hit another opportunity wide.
Malin, who hails from Lytham, where his family still live, and is a student at Heriot Watt University in Scotland, had to watch from the sidelines as GB worked hard in vain to pull back the deficit.
Malin, who plays for Scotland non-league side Spartans, said: “The experience has been unbelievable. To get to the final as a team with such a great group of lads is fantastic.
“Everyone was on form – it just wasn’t to be in the final, but we had an absolutely amazing time along the way.”