Watch: Revisiting Aaron Ramsey’s first Welsh interview
It was 16 years ago that Welsh teenager Aaron Ramsey tentatively stepped in front of the camera for his first interview in Welsh.
For then children’s TV host, Rhydian Bowen-Phillips, it was a chance to meet a rising star of Welsh football.
Then Ramsey was just making his mark as a 17-year-old at Cardiff City, while Rhydian – now the match day announcer for the Bluebirds and Wales, was a presenter on S4C’s popular children’s TV programme Used 5.
The midfield dynamo, left Cardiff for Arsenal, and then latterly Juventus and Nice, but he’s now back with his boyhood club much to the delight of the Cardiff City fanbase.
For lifelong City fan, Rhydian, who also presents his own show on Radio Cymru, he couldn’t be more delighted especially as his journey with the Wales football star has come full circle.
Who knew what a glittering career lay ahead for the young Welsh-speaking Ramsey when he sat down at the old Ninan Park to chat to Rhydian for Uned 5, after breaking into the first team at the Bluebirds.
“I just remember hearing from someone at the club that Aaron spoke Welsh and our researcher Llyr managed to get the interview,” recalls Rhydian.
“As a City fan, I was overjoyed, so we waited in the old Ninian park reception and in walks a softly spoken very polite Aaron Ramsey and we had so much time with him, which would never happen at clubs these days.”
Rhydian says the returning home of Cardiff’s prodigal son is special as the club means so much to him.
“You could tell just what Cardiff City meant to him even back then so I can appreciate just what this return home means to Aaron and all his family,” he remembered.
“To this day, he always says ‘Shwmae’ when on Cymru duty. He even had time to chat and hold my newborn son Teifi in the afterparty when Cymru qualified for the Euros.
“We even had a tearful cwtch in Qatar after the England game. This homecoming is really special and I could never have predicted the journey Aaron would’ve been on to get here the day we sat down for that interview.”
As for that first interview in Welsh, the Cardiff and Wales match day announcer, reveals Ramsey is always keen to speak Welsh on international duty.
“The fact now, after all these years since leaving Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni, Aaron has regained his confidence to give Welsh language interviews speaks volumes about how important Cymraeg is to him. A huge diolch for this has to go to Ian Gwyn Hughes at the FAW.”
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