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    HISTORY OF WELSH FOOTBALL

    Wales National team
    Welsh football history

     

     
    The Vibrant History of Welsh Football

    In 1876, after watching the English and Scots have their fun for four years, a group of men, including stonemasons, miners and chimney sweeps, decided it was time for the Welshmen to join in on the fun. So the Football Association of Wales (FAW) was formed in Wrexham.

    Though the team was officially founded in 1876, they had played football before. Their first match, held in 1864, was played against the local fire station. The beginning of football in Wales centred around the working man, who played in amateur clubs and competed against each other for the Welsh Cup. The game then spread north and finally arrived in the south.

    The Welsh Football League was formed in 1902, but unfortunately, WWI halted football soon after. But when it did come back years later, it came back with gusto, facing more international opponents than just England, Scotland and Ireland. Despite the challenge that came with most top Welsh players belonging to English clubs, Wales had many triumphs in the British Championships. The national team even reached the World Cup finals in 1958.

    Wales is proud of the Welsh players who represent the nation around the world. For instance, Ian Rush made history in Liverpool, and Ryan Riggs led Manchester United to Champions League wins in 1999 and 2008. Gareth Bale is considered one of the best Welsh players of all time. During his club career he played for Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid, so despite never playing for the national team, he made the country proud.

    The national women’s football team, formed in 1973 is successful in its own right. It became popular during WWI and pushed through religion-based bans in women’s football. They even played a charity match against Olympic de Paris, where they raised money to restore the Reims Cathedral.
     

    After a rough patch for both teams in the late 1970s, things began to look up again. The men’s team made Euro success in 2016 and later beat Ukraine in the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The women’s team is enjoying their time in the high ranks of the English league. Nowadays, the teams are gaining celebrity sponsors and social media fame while selling a record number of tickets to their games. Things keep looking up, and we’ll be cheering on from the sidelines, and using football tips to place our bets on them!

    [ Main photo embedded from FAW Cymru ]

    Posted: Thursday 8th June 2023
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