Shropshire Star

From Welsh border town to the World Cup - friends enjoy trip of a lifetime despite Iran defeat

Four Welsh football fans from Chirk are enjoying their trip of a lifetime to the World Cup - despite their beloved Dragons looking like they could be flying home soon.

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The group from Chirk with friends they have made on the trip

The four friends have followed the Welsh national team across Europe and its first success in reaching the World Cup finals since 1958 simply couldn't be missed.

Gary Williams, John Riley, Nigel Roberts and Simon Pearce are all members of Chirk AAAs club which has its own successful football teams.

The four flew out to Dubai, where they are staying in a hotel, and are flying into Qatar for individual matches.

Gary said despite a scare for one of the tickets, the organisation is great.

Three of the Chirk fans at the Iran game

"We have had no problems flying back and to, it's free on the metro and buses in Qatar to get you to the games - the only problem is with the permit we have to enter Qatar and get into games - a lot of football fans, including Nigel, have been having problems."

He said being part of the Wales Red Wall fan club was amazing.

"We love singing and when we played the USA in the first game, to sing the Welsh national anthem at a World Cup sent shivers down your spine."

The four are also enjoying the atmosphere in Dubai and have teamed up with Nick Evans, who used to live in Chirk but now lives in Australia.

"It's great to team up with him and another fan from Chirk.

"There are a load of Argentinians staying in the same hotel as us, we get on great together singing and drinking together wishing our teams well in the World Cup games. The Red Wall is amazing - we had made new friends and seen old friends from Wales games."

After the despair of a 2-0 loss to Iran meaning Wales will probably exit at the group stage, the friends are hoping for a win on Tuesday against England.

"The Iran game was absolutely devastating but it is great to see Wales in a World Cup. Hopefully it won’t take us so long to get there again - it's an absolutely brilliant experience with great friends."

"We are of course missing our wives and families."