Welsh pride – but born in England

Passions will be running high when England meet Wales in their crucial Group B clash in Lens tonight in a match that has been dubbed the ‘Battle of Britain’ by pundits and fans. 

Gareth Bale certainly stoked the fires when he claimed that the Welsh players were more passionate than their English counterparts, but it may be surprising to some that nine of the players that could feature tonight for Wales were actually born in England.

Captain Ashley Williams, midfielders Andy King and David Edwards as well as, matchwinner against Slovakia, Hal Robson-Kanu are among those who were born on the other side of the border, but for those nine there will be no doubt where their loyalty lies come kick-off.

Wolves midfielder Edwards is the ‘Anglo’, the term used to describe players who take the field for Wales despite being born in England, who has been involved in the Welsh set-up the longest. He made his debut for the Under 19s and has been wearing the red shirt for 12 years.

Other notable Anglos include Wolverhampton-born captain Williams, who with 60 caps is just two caps away from taking the record as the most capped player to make the switch.

Even so, some may continue to question their loyalty, although Leicester midfielder King refutes that suggestion, telling Walesonline, “People haven’t asked about the English thing before this camp but you can be certain, when you pull on the shirt of Wales – and those people pull on the shirt – they are going out there 100 per cent wanting to win and do it for the country.”

Wales’ English-born players at Euro 2016

Ashley Williams (c), James Chester

David Edwards, Andy King, Johnathan Williams

Simon Church, Hal Robson-Kanu, Sam Vokes, George Williams