Wales players have received official caps marking their appearances for their country in this year’s Homeless World Cup.
Street Football Wales (SFW) founder Keri Harris has been lobbying for years for his players to receive the same recognition as elite stars like Gareth Bale by receiving a cap for turning out for their country.
And, as they prepare to host the Homeless World Cup for the first time in the tournament’s 17-year history, 100 former players received caps at Dragon Park in Newport – Welsh football’s national development centre – yesterday.
Among the Wales team alumni, current coach and Big Issue employee Wayne Ellaway was honoured as well as Dee Sampson, whose remarkable story had such an impact on actor Michael Sheen that it inspired him to lead the bid for Wales to host the 2019 tournament.
Harris said: “Today was all about pride and respect. To watch these players receive official international caps for playing for their country was truly the realisation of a dream. It’s been a long time coming but these special men and women deserve their moment. I was beaming from ear to ear throughout.”
Sheen added: “What a day! Keri has campaigned long and hard to make today happen and when we knew that the Homeless World Cup was coming to Wales in 2019 it was one of my top goals to ensure that everyone who had earned their spot in a Homeless World Cup squad would receive the official recognition that they richly deserve.”