Graffiti mural of Wales keeper Danny Ward appears outside a Flintshire High School
A ‘graffiti mural’ of Wales’ goalkeeper Danny Ward has appeared outside a Flintshire High School.
With the national team preparing for their make-or-break World Cup Play-off Final against Ukraine on Sunday 5 June, graffiti portraits of the players and management have been painted outside their old schools.
Twelve red portraits have been painted in total, including one outside Hawarden High School of former pupil Danny Ward.
Portraits have been painted of captain Gareth Bale outside Whitchurch High School in Cardiff, Aaron Ramsey outside Ysgol Cwm Rhymni in Blackwood, Joe Allen in Ysgol y Preseli in Crymych, and manager Rob Page, outside his old stomping ground, Ferndale Community School, in the Rhondda Valley.
— Hawarden Headteacher (@HeadHawarden) May 27, 2022
The portraits were commissioned by broadcaster S4C, which will show all four of the team’s UEFA Nations League matches in June, as well as the crunch Play-Off final on June 5.
Fans are being encouraged to take their photos with the murals, using the hashtag #YLlawrCoch – The Red Floor.
Ukraine produced a fine performance at Hamden Park in their World Cup Play-Off Semi-Final against Scotland on Wednesday night.
Andriy Yarmolenko opened the scoring on 33 minutes before Roman Yaremchuk added a second four minutes into the second half.
Scotland fought back to 2-1 when Callum McGregor pulled scored for the Tartan Army but Ukraine’s visit to Cardiff was confirmed when Artem Dovbyk netted in added time to make it 3-1.
Born in Wrexham, Ward started his career at his local club, Wrexham FC, but made his senior debut in a Man of the Match performance on loan at Tamworth.
Liverpool moved to secure the goalkeeper’s services in January 2012, where he developed in their Under-18s and Under-23s sides before being promoted to the Reds’ first team and gaining valuable senior experience on loan at Morecambe and Aberdeen.
Ward then joined Huddersfield Town on a season-long loan in 2016/17, where he proved to be a key figure – playing 46 times as the Terriers were promoted to the Premier League.
He moved to Leicester City from Liverpool in the summer of 2018 and immediately shone at Leicester, keeping a clean sheet on debut in a 4-0 Carabao Cup Second Round win over Fleetwood Town.
Ward represented Wales at Under-17s, Under-19s and Under-21s level before receiving his first senior call-up in 2013. It would be three years before his international debut, which came as a substitute in a friendly against Northern Ireland in the lead up to UEFA EURO 2016.
Other players with links to Flintshire in Rob Page’s squad for the Ukraine game include Dylan Levitt, the Manchester United midfielder who has just spent an impressive season on loan at Dundee United.
Levitt – who played for Connah’s Quay Tigers and Flint Town United Academy – starred in a much-changed Wales side on Wednesday in 2-1 defeat against Poland in the Nations League.
Goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey, a former Connah’s Quay High School pupil – who won his 100th international cap for Wales in March – made a second-half appearance in the match.
Wales took a second-half lead before two late goals saw Poland come from behind to clinch a 2-1 win, although they were able to prevent Robert Lewandowski from scoring over 90 minutes.
S4C will also be turned red on Sunday 5 June as we show live coverage of the all-important World Cup Play-off Final, from 4.15pm.
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