I still remember the match, more than 30 years later. On a warm May day in the late spring of 1980, Wales played England in an important British Home Championship match at Wrexham in North Wales. As usual, few expected Wales, the country of my birth and where I lived until I was a teenager, to surprise England. But surprise they did as they stormed back from being one-nil down to win the match 4-1 at the Racecourse Ground.
In hindsight, there was some woeful defending by England that helped Wales to victory that day. But the performance then, and now, gives an indication of the immense pride the Welsh have and how they always savor a win against the English.
My aunt and uncle are in Florida right now, vacationing from Wales. When I spoke to them last week, they were texting their daughter back in Wales to find out what the result of the Six Nations rugby match was involving Wales against France. My cousin replied, “England lost.” England losing against Ireland in rugby was more important than knowing that Wales had lost against France. It just goes to show the passion that Wales has and how they would love nothing more than to beat England this Saturday.
If you have time this weekend, be sure to watch Wales against England (Saturday, 11am ET, ESPN2 and ESPN3.com in the United States). Pay special attention to the build-up of the match as you’ll hear a sold-out crowd of 69,000 creating an incredible atmosphere at the Millennium Stadium. If Wales can get a good start to this match, you can expect the Welsh fans to be singing their hearts out. I, for one, will be cheering them on. Whether they win or lose, I just hope they can put on a performance that will make Welshmen around the world, myself included, proud.