UK’s biggest table football game helps keep air ambulance flying


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A trailer maker has created the UK’s biggest table football game to support Wales at Euro 2016 and to raise money for the Wales Air Ambulance.

The mega foosball table, made from a 14ft by 7ft trailer, and a giant football skittles game are proving popular at the Ifor Williams Trailers stand at the Urdd National Eisteddfod in Flint.

According to the company, it was their way of backing Chris Coleman’s team as they prepare for Wales’s first major international tournament since the World Cup in 1958 which coincidentally was the year the company was founded.

Ifor Williams Trailers has now grown to become Europe’s biggest trailer manufacturer and has a global network of distributors as far afield as Australia and New Zealand.

Andrew Reece-Jones, the Design Engineering Manager at Ifor Williams Trailers, said: “Our stand at the Urdd Eisteddfod has a big football theme this year because we wanted to show our support for the Welsh team at the Euros.

“At the same time we are raising money for the Wales Air Ambulance which provides a vitally important, life-saving service.”

Every mission flown by Wales Air Ambulance costs £1,500 and the charity needs to raise £6 million a year to keep its three helicopters in the air.

With aircraft based in Caernarfon, Welshpool and Swansea, they can reach anywhere in Wales in 20 minutes – no matter how inaccessible it is.

That means casualties have a fighting chance of getting to hospital within the ‘Golden Hour’ – the first 60 minutes after trauma which can be crucial to survival.

The twin aims of the football activities on the Ifor Williams Trailers stand were a hit with Eisteddfod goers of all ages.

Among them was mum of two Bethan Kelly, 41, originally from Carmel, near Holywell, who now lives in Chester le Street, near Durham

Her two sons Huw, 10, and Rhys, seven, enjoyed playing foosball on the giant table based on a 14ft by 7ft trailer.

She said: “Huw and Rhys are having a ball. They’ve got table football at home but it’s not quite as big as this one!”

Huw, a Sunderland fan who’ll be supporting Wales at the Euros, said: “I really enjoyed playing the giant table football game. It’s great.

Self-employed Alwyn Hughes, 35, from Bodedern, on Anglesey, was there with his son Aaron.

He said: “The giant table football is brilliant. As well as supporting Wales at the Euros, it’s really important to support the Wales Air Ambulance. You never know when somebody from your own family might need it.”

Team Leader Gwyn Lloyd, 44, was the “referee” for the foosball game.

He said: “I must say it’s going really well here today and there’s a great deal of interest in the foosball and the skittles and people are being generous in making voluntary contributions towards the Wales Air Ambulance.”

It was a sentiment echoed by trainee team leader Gethin Williams, 23, who was helping out with the skittles.

Gethin said: “The skittles is also proving very, very popular. It’s certainly been catching people’s eye and we’ve got lots of youngsters queuing up to have a go.”

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