Posted: Tue 29th Mar 2022

Former Connah’s Quay High School pupil set to make 100th international appearance for Wales tonight

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Mar 29th, 2022

A former Connah’s Quay High School pupil will make his 100th international appearance for Wales tonight.

Goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey will captain Wales in tonight’s friendly against the Czech Republic.

Cymru take on the Czechs in Cardiff in a match that will also help raise funds for the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

With former Hawarden High School pupil Danny Ward injured, Wayne Hennessey returned to the starting line-up for the crucial World Cup play-off semi-final against Austria on Thursday and will now lead out his side this evening in Cardiff.

Wayne was initially raised in Beaumaris on Anglesey, and was educated at Ysgol David Hughes, in Menai Bridge, but he moved to Connah’s Quay High School to make it easier to travel to Manchester City’s Academy.

Wayne made his debut for Cymru back in May 2007 against New Zealand at the Racecourse, and has since claimed the clean-sheet record for his country previously held by his hero Neville Southall.

The goalkeeper then made his first start for his country the following month against the Czech Republic in a EURO 2008 qualifier that ended 0-0.

During his 15-year Cymru career, Wayne played a key role in the side qualifying for successive EURO finals in 2016 and 2020, and highlighted his double save against Hungary in the decisive match in Cardiff that ensured Cymru qualified for the latter tournament when he spoke to the media yesterday.

Speaking to the Daily Post in 2019, Wyn Pritchard, PE teacher at Connah’s Quay High School said: “Wayne came to us in Year 8 from Ysgol David Hughes and I taught him for PE as well as being his Head of Year.”

“I remember he played some games in goal as well as some outfield and was a great all-round sportsman – technically very sound and excelling at every sport he tried, picking them up quickly.”

“He was a quiet but decent lad who just got on with things – he wasn’t particularly academic and his best subject was indeed PE but I don’t think he held any great love of school.”

“But a lot of kids know and are proud of the fact Wayne Hennessey attended the school and it motivates them to succeed – it shows them that they can make it.”

2022-03-27 Cymru Senior Men Training -76.jpg

Speaking ahead of tonight’s match, 35-year-old Wayne said: “I’m looking forward to it, It’s been a long time coming but I can’t wait for it to happen.”

“I’m going to keep going as long as I can and representing my country for as long as I can.”

“The double save against Hungary for me stands out, but I’ve had so many special moments in qualifying for major tournaments.”

“It means a lot to me, my hero growing up was Neville Southall who reached 92 caps, so it’s a massive achievement for myself.”

“Whenever I step over the white line for my country it’s a special occasion. It’s a proud moment for me and my family.”

Cymru captain Gareth Bale has praised the contribution of Wayne Hennessey as the goalkeeper ahead of his 100th international appearance.

He said: “What an achievement, I think the one thing with Wayne is that he probably goes without much recognition to be fair. But I guess as a keeper, if people aren’t talking about normally that’s usually a great thing because you haven’t made many mistakes.”

“I also think people forget that he’s got the all-time clean-sheet record as well.”

“What a goalkeeper, I think he’s so underrated, it’s going to be a great night on Tuesday.”

The Real Madrid forward said: “Hopefully all the fans will come out to support him and show their appreciation because he really has been a rock in this team and a massive part of our success and I can’t wait to celebrate his 100th cap with him.”

“We’ve been great friends since our early days, and it’s grown and grown into a bromance! We’re inseparable when we come away on camp. It’s been a pleasure to play with him and a pleasure to be a friend of his.”

“He’s literally one of the nicest people you will ever meet. He’s so humble and so down to earth, and I’m just proud of him as a friend as well.” Gareth said.

Hennessey will become the sixth Cymru centurion should he take to the field on Tuesday, joining Chris Gunter, Gareth Bale and women’s trio Jess Fishlock, Loren Dykes and Sophie Ingle in reaching this particular milestone.

[Photo’s FAW]

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