ONE OF the biggest days in Welsh sporting history is almost upon us and calls have been made for special fanzones to be created so fans can cheer on Wales in the European Championships.
Special fanzones will be set up in the Cardiff and Swansea for people who can’t make it to the games at Euro 2016 in France, but nothing like this has been planned in the north.
North Wales AM Llyr Gruffydd said: “This is an historic occasion for Wales - the first time that most football fans will be able to cheer on their team at a major international championship. Many of us weren’t even born when Wales qualified for the World Cup in 1958 and, although many thousands will be travelling to France, a great many more will want to cheer on the team.
“I think fanzones would help create a fantastic atmosphere so we can all enjoy this unique event. There are plenty of places like the top of town in Ruthin or the pavilion in Llangollen that could host such fanzones.”
Clwyd West AM, Darren Millar also called on councils to consider setting up the fanzones.
He said: “I think it is fantastic that Swansea and Cardiff Councils are embracing Euro 2016 are getting behind the Wales team in this way and it would be great to see a similar thing happening here in North Wales.
“There will be many Wales fans who will be unable to make it out to France but who would love to watch the game surrounded by other supporters in an atmospheric setting.
“Wales have not played in a major tournament since 1958 so this is a momentous occasion which should be properly celebrated. The Wales squad have done fantastic to qualify and as a country we must get behind them in every way possible.
The tournament is expected to provide a big boost to the economy with pubs expecting a large turnout from supporters who can’t make it to the continent.
Dafydd Vaughan, landlord of the Park Place pub in Ruthin said: “58 years is a long time to wait for any sporting fan, but finally we get to see in our lifetime Wales compete with the best of them by their own merit.
“Everyone in the Park Place is excited to witness the possibility of our national team exceeding all expectations. Where better to watch together in hope than in the pub?
“I expect many who aren't able to travel to France will be out in the pubs to support Wales and we'll look forward to hosting these special days.”
The weekend is expected to see bumper crowds out and about, not only for the football but to enjoy the Hiraethog beer festival which is being held this weekend in various pubs across the Vale of Clwyd.
Wales’ Euro 2016 finals campaign kicks-off versus Slovakia on Saturday.
Kick-off is at 5pm.
Meanwhile, Ysgol Pen Barras pupils got into the Euro 16 spirit as they were sponsored by The Feathers pub in Ruthin to design images for a 4x4 celebrating Wales' heroes.
In return for helping with this Bale Gate, the Feathers has paid for all the children who took part to go to play foot golf in Llanfwrog.