At the end of the draw between Wales and the United States, Neco Williams was crying and pointing to the sky. He dedicated the match, Wales’ first at a World Cup since 1958, to his grandfather, Kelvin Jones, who died just hours before his grandson’s World Cup debut.
“I received some of the hardest news that I have ever had to deal with. My mother told me that my grandfather had died. Going from crying to starting a World Cup game has been extremely difficult, but I have achieved it thanks to the support of my family and my teammates”, said Williams after the 1-1 win against the Americans.
With his number three on his chest and his arms raised pointing to the sky, Williams shed his tears on the pitch of the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in tribute to his grandfather, one of the key figures for him to dedicate himself to football.
“I think I am a footballer thanks to my grandfather. He was a good player, scouts from various teams came to see him and he was one of the best players in my town, but injuries slowed him down. I have continued what could have been for him”, added the Nottingham Forest footballer.
“He has traveled all over the world to watch me play football, ever since I started at Liverpool at the age of six. He never told me that I had done well, because he just wanted me to improve day by day, and that’s why I’m here today. I want to dedicate this game to him, because I know he is watching me from up there with great pride”.