Home SportsFootball Big Nev Patron of Gŵyl Wal Goch 2024!

Big Nev Patron of Gŵyl Wal Goch 2024!

by Love Wrexham Magazine
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Gŵyl Wal Goch returns to Wrexham, the spiritual home of football in Wales, with a new patron. Everton and Wales legend Neville Southall is taking on the role of patron of football’s answer to the Hay Festival.

Bowled Over

Southall says, “I was a guest for the World Cup edition of the festival in 2022. I was bowled over by the atmosphere at the event and the way the team brought together an outstanding programme of events and international guests for three days in Wrexham.

“We all need to hear more about the positive impact football can have in effecting social change in areas such as men’s mental health and female empowerment. I’m very happy to do all in my power to support the festival in doing so.”

There’s a stellar list of guests at this year’s festival, including Chelsea, Everton and Scotland hero Pat Nevin, The Guardian writer David Conn, Carrie Dunn, Rebecca Watson and poet Evrah Rose. There will be music, screenings, exhibitions and some football, of course.

As we look forward to the Euros in Germany, David Conn joins an international panel on football writing. David will also be interviewing Nevin.

There will be a Welsh premiere of the Chilean film Históricas, directed by Javiera Court and Grace Lazcano. It tells the tale of how the country’s female players took matters into their own hands as the national team became increasingly inactive.

Ian Benbow

They will be considering how football memories can help people with dementia and other forms of memory loss, and some of the hot topics affecting the future of women’s football. Including how to maximise performance and avoid injuries which particularly affect female players.

They will discuss transitioning from professional football into the post- playing career and the toll this can take on mental health, with the former Hereford player and Welsh Cup winner Ian Benbow.

Leon Barton talks to the “Little Wonder” Brian Flynn as he celebrates his 50th anniversary in football. Peris Hatton owns more than 300 football shirts and has written a book about them. He joins the event to tell all.

Festival co-founder Russell Todd will tell the little-known tale of the remarkable life of Phil  Woosnam,  the  physics

graduate from Caersws who won international honours with Wales before becoming the “Father of professional football in the USA”, where he played no small part in luring the likes of Pelé, Cruyff, Best and Beckenbauer to the North American Soccer League.

There will be plenty of local talent on show, including Evrah Rose, Mark Coverdale and Lisa O’Hare.

Local Talent

Live music is always a staple part of the festival, with past performers including Gallops, Gruff Rhys, Adwaith, and Sage Todz. This year, Cwlwm Tystion will be playing Tŷ Pawb on the Friday night of the festival; Larynx Entertainment pitch rappers Runic and MILL$ in a North Wales vs South Wales rapping head-to-head battle, and City of Liverpool FC will be bringing their famed club nights to town.

The full programme and ticket link are available at footballfansfestival.com. Under 16s go free to Gŵyl Wal Goch, as do the registered carers of disabled festival attendees.

The event runs from 31st May to 2nd June.

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