Wales Defender Neco Williams Makes Emotional World Cup Debut One Day After His Grandfather Passed Away

Wales Defender Neco Williams Makes Emotional World Cup Debut One Day After His Grandfather Passed Away

Byron Pillay
  • Neco Williams played his first World Cup game for Wales a day after his grandfather passed away
  • Williams highlighted his grandfather as being a major source of inspiration in why he became a footballer
  • Wales and the United States of America shared the spoils after Timothy Weah and Gareth Bale scored for their teams

Playing in the World Cup is a very emotional moment for any player, but it took on an added significance for Welsh defender Neco Williams.

The 21-year-old Nottingham Forest player was part of the Welsh team that took on the United States of America in a Group B clash.

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An emotional Wales defender Neco Williams points to the sky after his side's game against the USA to pay tribute to his grandfather, who passed away. Image: Sebastian Frej
Source: Getty Images

While Williams looked emotional for much of the 79 minutes that he was on the field, it was after the final whistle that he broke down in tears.

He then revealed that he got the news a day before Wales’ opening game that his grandfather had passed away, BBC Sport reported.

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Williams credited his grandfather as being a big influence in his professional career. The former Liverpool player explained that his grandfather was a good player who was scouted for a few teams before injuries affected his career.

"Injuries stopped him, so I've continued what could have been for him," Williams said.

He also took to social media to dedicate the game and the point earned in memory of his grandad.

A hard-fought draw

Wales and the United States put on an action-packed showing during their game but ultimately had to share the spoils. Timothy Weah gave the USA the lead, but it was cancelled out by a late Gareth Bale penalty. The goal was Wales’ first World Cup goal in 64 years.

Watch Timothy Weah net a sublime finish as the USA scored their first World Cup goal since 2014

USA forward Timothy Weah produced a sublime finish to give his country the first goal against Wales in their opening 2022 World Cup.

This is USA's first World Cup since 2014, and the signs in their opening match are promising despite having an inexperienced squad.

Weah plays his club football for French giants Lille, and he has now realized his World Cup dreams 12 years after his father took him to the final of the 2010 edition when he was just 10.