Eager to showcase Welsh values of compassion and care, they formed Gôl Cymru. Fast forward two decades and the charity has helped hundreds of underprivileged children around the world. Witnessing the immense hospitality shown by host nations every time Wales played away, Tim and Neil felt it was only right to give something back. Gôl Cymru’s efforts have left pieces of Welsh goodwill around the world; in children’s homes and hospitals spanning 40 countries - from New York to Tbilisi, in the form of donations, school supplies, gifts and even running coaching sessions. Their support varies with each nation they visit and the children they meet – they have donated to local charities, helped cover cancer treatments, and provided football kits to refugees.
When Cymru play on home soil, Gôl has arranged for local children to join The Red Wall (that’s the name given to Wales supporters) and brought children from across the globe over to visit Wales and experience our castles, coast and culture.
The Red Wall was recognised by UEFA for their passion and behaviour at Euro 2016 in France. And it’s this spirit of togetherness and respect that the charity aims to leave behind around the world, alongside the more tangible donations and gifts.
In September 2022, while Welsh supporters were drawing praise from Belgian officials for cleaning up a Brussels square, Gôl Cymru visited La Cité Joyeuse, a children's facility which is currently home to some 200 children of all ages. This was not their first visit to the home, they returned having supported them in 2013 and 2014 and admired the fantastic work of their multidisciplinary teams (educational, medical and psychological) to improve the quality of life and the social and educational integration of the children.
Donations to Gôl, raised from pre-match parties in Brussels, saw them provide a special, adapted tablet to help the children at the home with motor difficulties.
Next, Wales is heading to Qatar after qualifying for the World Cup, 64 years since their first run in Sweden 1958. Historically, whenever Wales play away, Gôl Cymru donates to children’s charities in the host country as a way of thanking them for their welcome and hospitality. This time, Gôl has been advised that Qatar sees itself as a donating nation and that it would be politically insensitive to offer financial assistance to organisations there.
Instead, they will be donating the money raised this year to Welsh children’s charities back home, chosen by their supporters. Fundraising events range from sold out supporters’ parties in Doha, to gigs by Welsh musical icon Gruff Rhys as part of Wal Goch Festival, a cultural festival for football lovers in Wrexham (Fri 11-Sun 13 November).
Fans can donate directly to Gôl Cymru.
Follow out how Gôl Cymru is leaving a little bit of Wales around the world on social media: