Family loyalties on the line as England take on Wales in World Cup crunch
Families have seen their loyalties divided as England and Wales meet in the World Cup.
England are looking to reach the last 16 stages of the competition by avoiding a heavy defeat while a win for Wales could see them extend their stay in Qatar.
The crunch battle which has been dubbed the “Battle of Britain” has already seen some households divided.
Kelly Robinson-Key, 34, is based in Carmarthenshire in South Wales and explained that her husband will be supporting England, while her daughter is backing Wales.
However, Ms Robinson-Key admitted she will be trying to stay neutral and is hoping for a draw.
“Our daughter, who is seven, was born here and supports Wales, my husband is an England fan and thinks they will win,” she told PA news agency.
“I try to stay neutral as I don’t feel it would be fair on my daughter to be singled out as the only Welsh fan.
“My husband doesn’t seem nervous at all but my daughter is worried for Wales, I hope for a draw to keep them both happy.
“But in all honesty there won’t be any negative reactions by my husband if England did lose although he would be less keen to go into work tomorrow.
“My husband just said that in an ideal world he would like both teams to go through as it would be nice to see Wales go further.”
Dr Alex Craven has also seen his family split on who to support tonight, tweeting: “Brief discussion in our Anglo-Welsh household about tonight’s match.
“The 5yo has declared he’s going to support England, because he was born in England. The 3yo has decided to support Wales, because she wants to be a whale.”
The 44-year-old from Tutshill in the Forest of Dean told PA news agency that he hopes “for household harmony” that Wales edge to victory.
He told PA: “I’m English, my wife [Claire] is Welsh, but [she] normally supports England at World Cups, due to the lack of Wales.
“We’re just going to watch the match on our sofa at home. I suspect the 3yo’s actual interest in the game will wane very quickly when she realises that there are no whales on the pitch.
“Claire says 2-1 for Wales. For household harmony, my head says a 1-0 win for Wales (with a draw for Iran v USA) would be best, but I think England will win 2-0.”
Wales fan Huw Godfrey, 50, and England supporter Amy Godfrey, who married after meeting in London 25 years ago, joked they will still be on speaking terms whatever the result.
Speaking outside the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, teacher Mrs Godfrey said: “The children are never quite sure ‘do we support England, do we support Wales’ so we’ll see – they can support whoever wins.”
Mrs Godfrey said she believed England will win 3-1 while her husband, laughing, predicted “a good experience”.
Mr Godfrey, who works in audiovisual, said: “I think to have England and Wales playing each other in a World Cup finals is fantastic and I’m glad they’re in the same group, and we’re able to attend this game tonight.”
Mrs Godfrey added: “I was a bit disappointed and it’s a shame they weren’t separate and we could have gone a bit further (in the tournament), but Huw is just happy for the occasion.”
She also said: “We will be talking at the end of the game.”
England fan Ian Carter, 45, who lives in Llanelli, was heading to the game with his Wales-supporting nephew James Millar and father-in-law Paul Jones after the trio flew in from Dubai.
Mr Carter told PA: “Our perfect score would be a draw between USA and Iran, these guys win 1-0 and we all go home happy because then we’re both through.
“In reality, I think it’s going to be smiles, enjoy the night and see what happens.”
Mr Jones, 63, from Llanelli, said: “We’re going to play with some pride tonight, get whatever we can out the game and enjoy it. This could well be our final.”
Mr Millar, 22, from Evesham, added: “How far can we really get? Who knows, never say never, we’re just going to enjoy it – that’s the main thing.”
On the decision to travel to Qatar, Mr Carter said: “It was over the breakfast table and we said ‘sod it, shall we just go?’ and it was a case of you’ve got the missus to talk to and stuff, but it was an easy decision – being from a Welsh and English mix, for us it was a perfect storm.”
Mr Jones predicted a 1-0 win for Wales, Mr Carter 2-0 England while Mr Millar said: “Heart says 1-0 Wales but my head is going to say 2-0 or 3-0 England.”