Monday, 7 April 2008

The Welsh are winning

I was lucky enough, thanks to snow in Zurich Airport (it's a long story) to get a Wembley ticket yesterday.

Inevitably, many people with any connection with the city are now emerging out of the woodwork as lifelong Bluebirds.

Living in London, I can't claim to be a Ninian Park regular (although I was in my youth and saw my first game there in 1972) but the ticket found a good home.

It was an incredible day, one few people expect to see in their lifetime. It ended with Robbie Fowler showering Neil Kinnock in champagne - for once, he said, he was happy to be a champagne socialist.

In the final, City will be up against possibly the goalkeeper of the season in the Premier League.

But David James, once known as Calamity, is overdue a cock-up. He could be this year's Dan Lewis, the Arsenal keeper who let the ball squirm under his body to give Fred Keenor's men the cup.

Football has a global reach beyond any other sport. Holding major games in Cardiff helped sell the city's attractions in a big way - I once watched live games via South African TV while on holiday in Mauritius.

People across the world will soon learn that the city not only has a fine football stadium - it also has a mult-national team to go with it.

It's been an incredible year for Welsh sport, and it's not over yet, although I wish all discussion of eligibility for Europe could be postponed until after the final. It's tempting fate too much....

Hopefully the year of Welsh sporting success will continue in this Sunday's London Marathon, although I suspect that may be tempting fate too.

I hope to finish in a respectable time and to raise a few grand for a good cause - NCH, the children's charity.

I'm really grateful to those of you who have already sponsored me - your generosity has been amazing. You can see how much I've raised by glancing to the right.

For those who've struggled to locate your credit card before now, the good news is that you can still sponsor me online - and find out more about why I'm running for NCH. Just go to

With Parliament in recess and the marathon looming, I'll be resting, or "tapering" as athletes say, for the rest of the week - followed by a few days' recovery.

I'll be back when MPs return on April 21, although you may yet get an update on matters non-political between now and then.

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