Wales

Wales fans on sacrifice to 'live the Euros dream'

Image caption Mathew John Hughes has put his van up for sale in a bid to follow the national team's championship journey

When Wales began its Euro 2016 campaign, thousands of enthusiastic fans had cleared their diaries and planned family holidays around the tournament's early fixtures, expecting just a two-week sojourn in France.

But as the history-making side enters its fourth week in the competition, die-hard supporters are going to extraordinary lengths to continue living the dream alongside their heroes.

There are reports of fans losing their jobs because of their determination to remain in France for the duration, while one man from Dinas Powys, Vale of Glamorgan, persuaded his American boss to let him stay in France after a Facebook campaign garnered 1,000 likes.

Wednesday's semi-final against Portugal is a game nobody wants to miss, not least Mathew John Hughes from Porthmadog, Gwynedd.

The Royal Mail engineer has put his only means of transport up for sale in a bid to follow the national team's championship journey to its conclusion.

He is hoping to sell his van for £1,800, despite already having already spent £2,500 on match tickets, travel and accommodation.

He said: "I think it's one of those moments you are going to savour forever.

"The memories of this trip will last a lifetime so it has been pretty good. I'm still buzzing."


Image caption Dion Morgan says his friend was happy to live in debt for the next few months just to "live the dream"

Dion Morgan from Porthmadog lives in Melbourne where he works in Australian mining.

He is spending £2,600 to get to the semi-final in Lyon and has promised his partner he will "do the ironing for life" to make up for it.

Ywain Gwynedd from Bethel, near Caernarfon, is raiding his savings account to make the return journey to France after already splashing out on an expensive two-week family holiday in Bordeaux at the start of the tournament.

He said: "Personally I'm okay, I've got savings that will cover me for the trip but my mate is happy to live in debt for the next few months just to live the dream."


Image caption Ywain Gwynedd has raided his savings account to make the return journey to France

Unfortunately some fans have fallen foul of online scams.

Scott Richardson's girlfriends paid £600 for tickets to the game on social media which never materialised and they are now running an online campaign to recover the money.

He said: "It has soured things. It has been a massive expense in the first instance for us to get to France- the tickets, flights and accommodation and the day-to-day expenses.

"It's financially hit us hard as £600 is a lot of money to everybody."

Kieran Jones, a lifelong Cardiff City and Wales fan, has driven a total of 3,500 miles (5,700km) and spent £4,500 to see Wales in Euro 2016.

And it's not just the fans making big sacrifices to be there.


Image copyright Getty Images

Others have had to miss big family celebrations, like Welsh defender Chris Gunter, who is not going to his brother's wedding in Mexico.

His parents Sarah and Gerald have also taken the decision to miss the wedding of their other son Marc in order to watch Wales' historic Euro 2016 semi-final against Portugal, reports the Daily Mirror.

The Wales defender is now set to perform his best man duties via Skype.


Image copyright Getty Images

Wales midfielder Joe Ledley has had to postpone his own wedding plans following Wales' surprise victory.

He was due to marry Ruby May Ridgeway on Saturday July 9 but has had to rearrange.

Wales manager Chris Coleman's heavily pregnant wife Charlotte may not be able to travel to the final if Wales make it as she is now too pregnant to fly.


Image copyright Rex Features

And former Welsh player and commentator Robbie Savage is staying behind in France whilst his family go on their summer holiday.

Former Wales striker and BBC pundit Dean Saunders is also facing a huge parking fee after leaving his car in a short stay area at Birmingham Airport thinking Wales would go out early.

He is expected to see his parking charges rise to £1,000, although the airport has offered to waive the fees if Wales win.

  • Tell us what you're doing to get to the historic game on the Wednesday by email newsonline.wales@bbc.co.uk or @BBCWalesNews on Twitter and Facebook.

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