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Fan makes last minute dash to watch Wales in World Cup – without telling girlfriend

29 Nov 2022 3 minute read
David Jones (centre) reunited with his childhood friends James Lewis (left) and Jamie Shipp (right) in Doha

Bronwen Weatherby

A Wales fan made a last-minute decision to fly to Qatar to watch Wales play England in the World Cup – without telling his girlfriend.

David ‘Dai’ Jones from Pontypridd could not resist travelling to the game after seeing his best friends partying at the tournament from their base in Dubai.

Despite receiving an ultimatum from his partner of 11 years, Mr Jones enlisted the help of his pals to get him a ticket and visa and boarded a plane to Doha on Monday night.

Without any accommodation, the 33-year-old slept in Hamad International Airport before heading to a pre-match party being held by Wales supporters at a city hotel.

Mr Jones said: “I didn’t have a ticket to come out originally because my girlfriend said I couldn’t afford it – she still thinks I can’t afford it now.

“She said if you go that’s it, but I said if I didn’t go I’d never forgive her.

“I saw my friends having the time of their lives in Dubai and going to the first two matches and I just thought I have to be there.

“It’s Wales’ first World Cup in 64 years – and that’s it.

“The three of us have been following Wales away for years and we’re the ‘three amigos’, and now the band is back together.”

“I did everything but gain her acceptance to go,” the electrician added.

“And I thought she might get over it in time, but I never would, so I made the decision to come.

“She rang my dad because my phone was off and he told her I’d be home in a few days.”

Mammoth journey

His friends James Lewis, 32, and Jamie Shipp, 31, helped him arrange the mammoth 24-hour journey that saw him first take an overnight coach from Cardiff to Heathrow, catch another bus to Stansted before boarding a plane to Turkey to catch a connecting flight to Doha.

The father-of-two plans to go to the head-to-head – described as the ‘Battle of Britain’ – tonight, then travel back to the airport where he will board a plane just after 4am.

He has been told by his boss that he will be sacked if he is not back in work on Thursday.

Mr Lewis, also from Pontypridd, said: “We came out here and then he was saying all week that he wanted to be out here with us.

“It feels amazing to have him here, I’ve known him since we were small and we’ve always travelled to watch Wales together.”

Mr Shipp said: “He’s mad, but he’s the best.

“I do feel sorry for his girlfriend though,” he joked.

The three men were among hundreds of Red Wall supporters who were taking part in an impromptu singalong with Welsh folk singer Dafydd Iwan who turned up to play a set.

Mr Iwan’s decades-old song Yma o Hyd was chosen as the Wales team’s official World Cup song.

The two nations meet at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium for their final group B fixture on Tuesday.

The Three Lions currently top the group and need just a point to guarantee their progress to the knockout stages, while Wales must win and hope for a favourable result between Iran and the USA.

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