Recent Archaeological research shows football invented in Wales
The first reference to football being played in this country was actually in Wales over a thousand years ago. The beautiful game was watched and played by hooligans as it is nowadays was probably introduced to Great Britain by the Romans in Wales and was played in the great Amphitheatre in Silurum Venta (aka Caerleon) by soldiers of the Second Augustan Legion during breaks from sacking, pillaging and general mayhem. Watched by the local natives one can imagine how it quickly spread to the other main tribes in South Wales the Dementae (the Llanethii) and Ordovices (Pontypoolae) and in a few years a healthy football league was established only broken when the pre-eminent Welsh Saint Cadfael banned football on the Streets of Shrewsbury in the middle of the 12th century allowing cnapan to ascend into prominence.
As a form of replacement the game of cnapan became very popular especially in the Southern counties of Wales where two teams of around 750 per side from competing parishes passed a tallow soaked wooden ball (the cnapan) between team members until the ball was too far from the start point to be returned before dusk or everyone went home for tea or got fed up. Clearly archery, bowls and Quoits also played a major role in Welsh sports as well as the more obvious games of coracle racing or Bando. This latter game, which is a form of Hockey played without a ball, is where the team players (the obligatory 750 per side from competing parishes) beat the crap out of each other until the last man standing is declared the winner then taken to hospital. An honourable mention must also go to Welsh Baseball played for hundreds of year since the reign of Llywelyn ap Cruffydd the Last, which was as we all know taken up by the Americans, and where the modern form of the Welsh game was codified in Llantrisant in 1892 only to die out promptly in 1893.
I mention the illustrious past of Welsh honor on the field of sport as suitable backdrop to our recent successes in the Olympic games where four medals were won by Welsh athletes (one more than the Scots I note) and our aspirations to field our own team at the 2012 Olympics in London. There has been heated discussions across the country (well in Jack Trehern’s bar in Newport) that we could have quite a success as the tradition of sports runs deep in the country as can be seen from the above. The only thing holding us back is that with the exception of the above we are quite hopeless at most sports, and despite representations to the IOC cnapan will not be a demonstration sport at the next Olympics. Which as a South Wales Argus editorial recently noted is yet another sign of cultural imperialism by the English and a shameful indictment of the Gordon Browns mishandling of the economy and comes as a direct consequence of the credit crunch (Eh what! ed.).