World Cup 2022: How Wales rallied around Neco Williams after the death of his grandfather

231122 Neco Williams
Neco Williams was visibly emotional after the final whistle of Wales' World Cup draw with the USA. Credit: PA

The Wales team have described how they rallied around "brave" and "strong" teammate Neco Williams after the death of his grandfather.

The defender received the news less than 24 hours before the nation's opening World Cup match against the USA on Monday.

Williams, 21, dedicated the 1-1 draw to his grandfather, and in an emotional tweet later said he had gone from "crying all day to start in a World Cup".

The Nottingham Forest full-back said it had been "extremely tough" but he had got through it with support from Wales teammates and family.

At a press conference in Qatar on Wednesday, Fulham winger Harry Wilson said: "I think Neco showed great courage and bravery to play the game.

"Everybody knows to lose a family member is never easy and for that to happen on the eve of his first ever World Cup game...

"To put in a performance like that as well. I thought he was fantastic.

Wales team rallied around ‘brave’ Neco Williams after death of grandfather Credit: PA

"The lads got around him and tried to make him feel as comfortable as possible.

"He had a lot of emotion after receiving the news less than 24 hours before but I thought his performance was great."

Cardiff City winger Rubin Colwill, who took questions in Welsh, said: "We just all gathered around him to support him through it.

"But he's a strong boy, so I believe he will be OK."

After the game on Monday, Wales manager Rob Page paid tribute to Williams, calling him a "very talented" and "aggressive" player.

Wales' next group game is against Iran on Friday at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium.

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