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Carlos and KenwyneCarlos Edwards could hardly be more enthusiastic about Sunderland's 2018 World Cup bid, having being one of the few people to have experienced both the World Cup finals and the unique atmosphere of the Stadium of Light.

The Trinidad & Tobago international represented his country in the 2006 World Cup in Germany and described it as the highlight of his career.

But the Sunderland winger has also thrilled to the Stadium of Light at its most vibrant and says that the idea of mixing the two is mouthwatering.

Yesterday, Edwards was part of the welcome committee for the delegation of FA assessors that arrived in Sunderland to examine the quality of the city and club's bid for inclusion in Engand's drive to be a venue for the 2018 World Cup.

And he's in no doubt that if the Stadium of Light is given the opportunity to stage games in the biggest footballing competition on the planet, it will rise to the occasion in a way to make the region and the country proud.

He said: "The Stadium of Light would be a fantastic venue for the World Cup and I'm very excited about the idea that it might happen.

"I'm 30 years old now, so if it did come off it would obviously be too late for me to be involved, but I would still like to think that Sunderland would get the chance to stage games.

"If it were to happen, it would only increase my pride in years to come to be able to tell people that I played for Sunderland Football Club and that was my home ground.

"I've been lucky enough to have played in a World Cup finals and been part of a side that did its nation proud and there's no better feeling in football than that.

"It was the cherry on the top of the cake for me as far as my football career was concerned. And the idea that the World Cup could come to Sunderland is fantastic."

Edwards says he know there will be intense competition across the country for the honour of hosting games if the World Cup comes to England but says Sunderland's bid will be up there with the best.

He said: "The Stadium of Light is just such a world class stadium that it would be perfect for World Cup games. The Academy and the Stadium are as good a set of facilities as you will find anywhere but just as important is the passion of North East football fans.

"It's just a very special place to play and I've had the privilege of playing in the Stadium of Light when it is full to bursting point and the noise and the support is unbelievable.

"The memory of scoring the best goal of my career for Sunderland in a game against Burnley which all but won us promotion from the Championship will stay with me forever.

"The atmosphere that night was absolutely amazing and I've seen the stadium like that a few times since then. So I know that if the World Cup comes to Sunderland then the big crowds and the passionate atmosphere will only add to the occasion.

"Because I've been part of it, the World Cup really excites me and the idea that it might come to Sunderland is great. I really hope that the efforts of everyone involved at Sunderland pays off because a 2018 World Cup in England with the Stadium of Light hosting games is something that the people up here will never forget."