The Rock of Gibraltar

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Wrexham FC has a history of international footballers in its ranks. More often than not, it is to represent the Welsh National team.

But Wrexham’s summer signing and rock at the back Dave Artell has been called up to a new international team: Gibraltar.

Wrexham’s own Gibraltarian Rock qualifies for the small country through his father, who was born on the island. His grandfather was in the Royal Navy and lived on the island for three years, which is how he qualifies and looks set to feature in the upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers.

Artell is not the only player from these parts that will feature for the team off the coast of Spain. Former Chester defender Danny Higginbotham also represented Gibraltar in their first official international match against Slovakia back in November. After officially forming their football association in 1895, it has only taken them 118 years to play their first official game.

Further down the road you can find Preston North End defender Scott Wiseman who is also part of the Gibraltar team. However, Wiseman has not been allowed to join up with his national team as Simon Grayson does not want to lose him for the upcoming games.

Artell will miss the game away to Hereford on Saint David’s Day. But with new signing Danny Livesey and Leon Clowes back to full fitness, the Dragons have more cover to cope with the loss of Artell, who has been such a pivotal part of the squad this season, and in the run in to the play offs last season.

So what other players have made their international debuts whilst at the club? As mentioned previously, the majority have represented Wales. Mickey Thomas and Arfon Griffiths are two Racecourse legends and made their debuts for their country whilst at Wrexham. In recent times, players such as Neil Roberts, Mark Jones and Steve Evans also made their debuts for Wales whilst playing for the Dragons. In fact, Steve Evans became the first non league player to represent Wales for 76 years when he played in a 2-1 loss to Russia after Wrexham had been relegated from the Football League in 2008.

Then of course there is Neil Taylor. The 25 year old has established himself as the main left back for Wales since his debut back in 2010. Then he was still a Wrexham player but shortly moved onto the heights of Swansea City that summer, and has since represented Team GB at the 2012 Olympics.

There are few other players that buck the trend in terms of making their international debuts whilst at the Wrexham. Barry Hunter made his Northern Ireland debut whilst he featured for Wrexham in the early 90s, going on to play 14 times and bag one goal for them. He is now chief scout at Liverpool.

One fantastic obscurity is Daniel Bennett. Bennett represented Wrexham 28 times in two separate spells either side of playing for the Singapore Armed Forces. Born in Great Yarmouth, he moved to Singapore and turned out for Tanjong United as a 17 year old in 1995. He changed his nationality to Singaporean in order to play international football and has gone on to play 128 times and score seven goals for his country, winning three ASEAN Championships along the way.

One thought on “The Rock of Gibraltar

  1. Gibraltar is not an island.
    Rookie mistake. Fairly common, though. It is a peninsula, attached by a narrow strip of land to southern Spain.

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