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Croatia legend Davor Suker headlines this year’s Wal Goch Festival

01 Oct 2023 4 minute read
Davor Suker will be in conversation with Ani Saunders at Gwyl Wal Goch

Croatia’s all-time top goalscorer Davor Suker has been confirmed as the keynote speaker at the third Gŵyl Wal Goch festival for football fans.

Davor will talk about his amazing career with Real Madrid, Arsenal and the Croatian national team whose success helped put a new country on the World map with football fan, academic, activist and pop star, Ani Saunders.

The Festival is bringing the world of football back to Wales with a series of events in Wrexham, Swansea and Cardiff around Team Cymru’s October internationals.

On Saturday 14 October, the day before the crunch qualifier vs Croatia, the focus will be on the complex ways football has impacted on the search for national identity.

There will be a discussion on football diplomacy with contributions from Turkey, Cyprus, Australia, Croatia and Wales.

Building on the success of the 2021 online and 2022 in-person festivals, the festival will again highlight the social, cohesion and inclusion opportunities that football can offer communities. Across the three festival centres there will be discussions, screenings, exhibitions, an evening of international football-themed poetry and some music of course.

Wales flag unfurled by Welsh football fans the Red Wall at the Cardiff City Stadium (Credit: Nation Cymru)

In Wrexham, as well as poetry in Welsh, English and the Basque language hosted by for National Poet of Wales, Ifor ap Glyn, at Tŷ Pawb, there will be exhibitions in the shape of SGÔR comprising north east Wales artists at Eagle’s Meadow (9-20 October); and Nigel Whitbread’s Dragon Warriors photographic exhibition of the 2019 Homeless World Cup in Cardiff at The Drawing Board (7-14 October).

There will also be the first screening in north Wales of ‘The Dragon on My Shirt’ in the company of filmmaker Darren Chetty plus guests, and other talks.

In Swansea’s Taliesin Centre there will be a premiere of the documentary ‘Wonderland – The Alice Street Story,’ about the remarkable terrace in the Swansea district of Cwmdu that bred the likes of John and Mel Charles and other Wales internationals,

A football themed comedy night will also take place in Cardiff with Gary Slaymaker, Lucy Watkins and friends and there will be a warm up for the Croatia game with live music in Canton Liberal Club with Voya, Nookee and Don Leisure in aid of the supporters charity Gol Cymru.

Gôl Cymru take Serb children to a Wales match at the Cardiff City Stadium (Credit: Gôl Cymru )

This year the festival is also partnering for the first time with the Iris Prize festival for a joint football shorts screening and discussion around LGTBQ+ and football.

In the curation of films and talks the event will look at the intersections between fans, culture, politics and fashion. And for the children there is a special tee shirt printing session on Saturday morning.

The festival closes on Sunday morning with a showcase of walking football, one of the fastest growing sports in the UK. The Welsh Walking Football Federation are inviting mixed teams of players aged 50+ to take part in a 6 aside tournament at Gôl Cardiff.

Dave Evans from the Festival team said: “We have another amazing lineup this year. Gŵyl Wal Goch has got something for everyone – films, discussions and even some walking football! If you care about our national game, the arts and the power of the game then you really need to be there.

“We look forward to welcoming you to Wrexham, Swansa and Cardiff between 10th and 15th October celebrating our love of football.”

See the full programme HERE

Tickets for the Festival are available HERE

Follow Gŵyl Wal Goch on X: @gwylwalgoch or on Instagram: @walgochfest

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