Stupid vertical table align code

Hi Guys
I am stuck with a table I am trying to create in html. I have an image in one cell and text in the other on the same row. I want the text to be in line with the center of the image. I tried valign="middle", valign="baseline", align="justify" and valign="center" ans none of these worked what so ever.
I have tried other bits as well but the text is always stuck at the top of the cell never slap bang in the center and it is annoying me now can anyone help?
That was my first thought but I have an image as the table background and if I have the cell padding or spacing higher than 2 the image repeats itself even if I have set the overall table height and width to the size of the image. It is not for a webpage though it is for an e-mail marketing campaign in case anyone wondered.