The seven-year-old who stole the show during Wales' World Cup game against USA

  • Watch: The moment the Red Wall erupts as Gareth Bale scores a last-minute equaliser – and Wales’ first World Cup goal in 64 years

Although Gareth Bale might have saved the day on the pitch this week, it was one of his youngest fans' reactions to his goal that seemed to steal the show at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.

Despite a shaky first-half and a nail-biting penalty in the 82nd minute, it was all celebrations after Wales managed a draw with USA in their first World Cup game of the tournament on Monday night.

Bale's equaliser meant Wales came away with one point in the bag – and Wales’ first World Cup goal in 64 years.

Little Mason's passionate celebration made football fans across the world smile. "A night Mason won’t forget!" said his mum Kelly.

But it was little Mason Richard's celebrations that got everyone talking. The ecstatic seven-year-old was captured punching the air in delight with his dad when Bale's penalty hit the back of the net.

And, despite being a regular at Cardiff City Stadium since he was three years old, it turns out that the historic game was Mason's very first taste of Wales Away.

"For the last two years, Mason has been a full season ticket holder for Cardiff," Mason's dad Alex said.

"I’d like to call it character-building at the moment, because we haven’t been too good the last two years at Cardiff!

"But it helps him appreciate the wins and the losses."

Mason and his father share a love for all things football, having gone to games together since Mason was three years old. Credit: Alex Richards

Alex has been following Wales at home for over twenty years, but has been going to as many away games as possible since 2014. 

He says he wanted to foster Mason's passion for football – and the community that it brings – by taking him along too.

"I wanted to pass onto him just what I feel every time I go away to watch Wales... With regards to the language, the community, the identity, the Celtic culture, and sense of community... I just want him to be part of that," Alex said.

Alex and Mason have been enjoying a holiday in Dubai along with their family, and are flying into Doha for the games.

"He has enjoyed the home games and being part of the Red Wall, but now he’s well-integrated into being a Wales Away fan as well!"

For Mason, who himself plays for Bridgend Town U8s, seeing his hero Gareth Bale in Wales' first World Cup for 64 years was a dream come true.

"There was loads of atmosphere, everyone was singing, it was just amazing," he said.

And if the night couldn't get any more special, Mason revealed he'd managed to catch the match ball. “I’ve waited seven years!" he said. Credit: Alex Richards

When Bale lined up to take the crucial penalty, Mason said he was “really, really nervous,” but once he saw the ball go in the net, it was “really, really amazing!”

"I didn’t realise what had been captured until afterwards. It’s been an amazing experience," said Alex.

"I think that it just signified the wave of emotion every person in that stadium was feeling.

"It was stressful in the first half and all of a sudden a relief and pure ecstasy when we had the equaliser. It was a whole range of emotions."

And what does Mason think about his celebrations going viral?

“My mum’s, my dad’s and all my family's phones are going mad! Some people from London who didn’t even know me wanted to phone me!”

As well as enjoying Wales games, Mason has been a season ticket holder at Cardiff City FC for the past two years Credit: Alex Richards

The pair are getting ready to head to the Wales v Iran game on Friday.

Mason predicts a "4 -1 win" from Wales, with two goals from Gareth Bale, one from Aaron Ramsey and one from Kieffer Moore.

And, he has high hopes that Wales’ fitness levels will outdo Iran. 

"After the England game, all the Iran players looked exhausted!" he said.

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