Wales have won many admirers in France and beyond this summer at the Euro 2016 Championships.
But one Donegal man has been following the fortunes of Wales and Gareth Bale long before this summer's tournament in France.
Declan McGarvey from Falcarragh is a big fan of Gareth Bale.
Last season Declan played with Fanad United in the Ulster Senior League and plays Gaelic football for Cloughaneely.
His admiration for the Real Madrid star dates back to 2004 when Declan was a member of the Irish U-15 team that played Wales in a friendly international. The game took place at the home of Home Farm FC in Whitehall, Dublin on February 2nd.
Declan played on the right side of midfield and Bale was on the left for the visitors.
“Yeah we came up against each other that day but he did not stand out that much in the game,” Declan told the Democrat this week.
“I met him at the meal afterwards and we had a good chat .
“He was a very nice lad and he was no way big headed, just an ordinary lad and he chatted away.”
Two other members of the current Welsh squad - right wing back Chris Gunter (Reading) and left wing back Neil Taylor (Swansea City) - were also members of that Welsh Under 15 team that played in Dublin back in 2004.
Ireland won the game 2-0.
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