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02nd Jul 2016

England fans frantically search for Welsh relatives as Wales reach last four

Simon Lloyd

Euro 2016 just gets better and better from a Welsh perspective.

Their first major football tournament in over half a century, many expected them to be on a plane home on Saturday when it became clear that they were facing Belgium – the highest ranked team in the competition – in  Friday night’s quarter final.

When they fell behind to a Radja Nanngolan goal in Lille, it seemed almost certain to some that their memorable run at Euro 2016 was destined to come to an end at the quarter final stage.

But of course, it didn’t.

Level at half-time through an Ashley Williams header, second half goals from Hal Robson-Kanu and Sam Vokes sealed an historic win. 3-1 victors and potentially 90 minutes away from a final.

In stark contrast to the Welsh team’s stunning achievements, it’s been a miserable week for England. Having beaten Wales with a dramatic stoppage time winner in Lens a couple of weeks ago, Roy Hodgson’s men went on to draw 0-0 with Slovakia in their final group game before being dumped out of Euro 2016 by Iceland in their last 16 match. English fans are more than used to disappointing major tournament exits but this one was quite possibly the most humiliating of them all.

Seeing their neighbours reach a semi-final – something England have failed to do in two decades – perhaps it’s no great surprise to see some England fans trying to jump on the Welsh bandwagon. In the time since the result in Lille was finalised, the search for Welsh ancestry amongst Englishmen and women was in full swing…