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Talented young footballer Ryan kicks off 2024 in style

Ifor Williams Trailers; Ysgol Clywedog in Wrexham. Dafydd Jones, from IWT presents the shirt to Pupil Ryan Roberts. Picture Mandy Jones

A promising young football star of the future is kicking off 2024 with a smile after triumphing in a sports-themed contest with the prize donated by Wrexham AFC.

Schoolboy Ryan Roberts, 11, a pupil at Ysgol Clywedog, in Wrexham, took top spot in the competition organised by Ifor Williams Trailers.

The prize generously provided by EFL League Two heroes Wrexham FC was a shirt signed by the Dragons’ dynamic defender Aaron Hayden.

Ryan, from Coedpoeth, who loves to play football, was presented with the coveted shirt in front of classmates and staff at the school.

Dafydd Jones, the show manager at Ifor Williams Trailers, which has factories in Denbighshire and Flintshire, handed it over to Ryan at a surprise ceremony after turning up in the middle of a gym class led by PE teacher Jack Cooledge.

Ryan’s delighted parents Lee and Katy Roberts, of Coedpoeth, were also invited along to the school to see the presentation.

Proud dad Lee said: “We were all thrilled. Ryan loves his football and so this is a great achievement  for him.”

The competition was run at the annual Flint and Denbigh agricultural show where the Ifor Williams Trailers stand included a specially converted flat-bed trailer which was custom designed for the fun contest. 

It included cut outs of Wrexham AFC players and competitors were tasked with kicking a football from a distance at the virtual “defenders”. 

When all the scores were totted up of everyone who took part Ryan was found to have been the top challenger at the show, achieving the most hits on target.

Mum Katy said: “He’s really happy for him. We all are really happy for him and it’s great that the school has organised this presentation. It’s made it doubly special for Ryan and us.”

Ryan plays for his school football team. He is also in the Overton Youth Football squad and has taken part in the Progressive Football summer holiday camp locally.

He follows Wrexham AFC news and is pleased with their success under new owners Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.

But Ryan admitted he is also a big fan of Manchester United and dreams of being as good a player as his Reds hero Brazilian international Carlos Casemiro.

His PE teacher Jack Cooledge said Ryan is a promising young player even at his young age. 

He said: “He’s quiet but determined and hard working on the pitch. It’s been a pleasure to help organise this surprise presentation. He’s a deserving winner and it’s so nice for all his school pals to see the prize handed over to him.

“We have two superb young football teams here at Ysgol Clywedog. Our girls team is through to the next round of the EFC cup and will play in Wigan. Our boys are also doing well and Ryan is among our best defenders.” 

Dafydd Jones added: “The competition was very popular and attracted a lot of competitors on the day. Ryan did really well to come out in the top spot and it shows his footballing prowess.

“We are very grateful to Wrexham AFC for providing such a great prize. The shirt has been professionally framed and also comes with an official certificate of authentication for Ryan.” 

Corwen-based Ifor Williams Trailers has close ties with the club, having been involved in the kit sponsorship of the club since 2016. This year they are the shorts sponsor for a third consecutive season.

As Europe’s largest trailer maker, they are also the club’s official trailer partner.

Dafydd said: “The reason we started sponsoring the club was because it has community at its heart. Its Welsh roots and community values are an ideal match for our own company ethos.

“A lot has changed since Ryan and Rob took over, not least the club’s exciting journey to promotion into League Two and its ongoing success. 

“But what has not changed is the strong connection it has with the Wrexham community as is evidenced by the club’s generosity in providing great prizes like this framed shirt which we’re sure will provide Ryan and his family with happy memories for years to come.”

The shirt holder Aaron Hayden joined Wrexham in 2021 signing a three year contract at the famous Racecourse ground. He had previously played for Wolverhampton Wanderers and Newport County, having started his football career at Chelsea’s youth academy.

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