Wales are through to the World Cup finals for the first time since 1958, only the second time ever and I am beside myself. Being Welsh though I am going to celebrate with warm domestic, even parochial, memories rather than English style bunting and street parties.
The best player in Wales' 1958 team was John Charles. When I was growing up in Heol Lewis he lived round the corner and ran "John Charles Sports" a little shop - in the parade near Rhiwbina library as I recall - about a mile away. When he walked past us in the street once, Dad told me that he was a famous football player, and while I didn't actively disbelieve my old man, I did find it difficult to credit that there was a bona fide Juventus legend domiciled in our vicinity. There he was though.
If John Charles was 1958's stand out, Gareth Bale is 2022's. My brother John saw him once, our Gareth out on his own walking a dog (it was in Roath Park as I recall). Similar double-take; can the man who just wandered past with no entourage, just Fido on a lead, really be the same chap who went from Spurs to Real Madrid for a world record transfer fee? There he was though.
If your heart isn't warmed, you haven't got one.
Let's give it up for the good people of Ukraine as well. Oleksandr Zinchenko was gracious and wise in defeat.
It may not be idiomatically perfect, but the sentiment is clear. Until my Ukrainian is better than his English I am not going to criticise him.
Wales' keeper done unbelievable job. I don't think we deserved to lose. Such a tight game. So tough to lose. After a fight you cannot fight again. If you lost, you lost. Life carries on. I wish Wales all the best. It's a long time since they have been there. Football is emotions, if we can give some great feelings to our fans then job done. I feel sorry for our fans because we could not get the result today. Sorry for the supporters around the world. Every one of us gave everything. But this is football, it can happen.
As football players, we need to represent our country as best we can. Everyone needs to live in peace. And we need to stop the war now, because you don't know what is going to happen tomorrow. Today it is Ukraine, tomorrow Russian could be in your country.