Plaid Cymru calls to celebrate the beautiful game in this historic year for Welsh football
A short debate today in the Senedd has heard Llyr Gruffydd AM talk of an ambitious campaign to “bring football home” to its spiritual birthplace in Wrexham.
Plaid Cymru - The Party Of Wales is proposing that a Welsh National Football Museum be developed in Wrexham, the home of Welsh football.
Mr Gruffydd said:
“There’s a clear logic to this if you look at the facts. Wrexham is where the first international match was played in Wales, where the oldest surviving international ground in the world – the Racecourse - is located and where the Football Association of Wales was formed 140 years ago this week in the Wynnstay Hotel. It is also home to Wrexham AFC, one of the world’s oldest football clubs along with nearby Cefn Druids and Chirk.”
Mr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru’s North Wales AM, added:
“I think it’s important to stress that Wales has a number of National Museums and Galleries but none of them are in the north-east. Creating a national football museum, similar to those in Manchester and Glasgow, would help redress that balance and emphasise the key role that the north-east and Wrexham specifically has had in the development of the game and in Wales more generally.
“We already have a basis for the museum because the local council has a very comprehensive footballing archive stored in the town’s museum and that would be an important element to moving the project forward.
“It’s a great opportunity to bring together various elements of our footballing past together at a time when the future of Welsh football has never been brighter. It’s clear from the positive response so far that it would also be a welcome boost for the town, attracting new visitors, creating work and providing an educational facility for youngsters.”
The campaign has already won the support of politicians of all colours, the Wrexham Supporters’ Trust and the aim of this broad campaign is to bring together all interested parties such as the Football Association of Wales, Wrexham AFC, Wrexham Council, the Welsh Government and, most importantly, football fans.
Mr Gruffydd added:
“With Wales qualifying for the European Championships in 2016, there’s never been a better time to celebrate our part in developing the Beautiful Game. We hope that football fans from across Wales and beyond will also support the campaign by joining our Facebook page or following us on Twitter.”
The next step is to set up a steering committee to build on that broad support, to develop a business plan that can be put in place to secure funding to build and maintain the museum – as happened with the English national football museum in Manchester.
UPDATE: The minister for culture has confirmed the National Museum will investigate the idea. Mr Gruffydd said: “I’m delighted that we’ve had cross-party support in the Senedd for my statement of opinion calling for the football museum to be located in Wrexham. I also welcome the response to my short debate from the minister, who has made it clear that he supports the idea.”
You can follow the campaign on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/190192674655215/ or on Twitter #bringfootballhome.