'Welsh language fight will always be there': Footballer Ben Davies on how he deals with online hate

Ben Davies 030222 ITV Wales/s4c
Davies became the first footballer to speak Welsh at a World Cup press conference in Qatar.

Footballer Ben Davies has said the Welsh language is something "we're always going to have to fight" for, despite the online trolling he receives from speaking it.

The Wales and Tottenham Hotspur player made history after becoming the first footballer to speak Welsh at a World Cup press conference during the tournament in Qatar in 2022.

The 29-year-old from Neath said that it’s necessary to "use the Welsh language as an armour" after being trolled on social media.

In an interview with the current affairs programme, Y Byd ar Bedwar, the defender explained: "The language is important to me. I don't need to explain that to anyone, how important it is to speak Welsh."

"I believe that it is something that we are always going to need to fight... that people are going to lose the language. It's an old language and it's easy to just speak English. But there is a responsibility on us, whenever we can, to try to speak the language as often as possible."

It comes after Davies received a mixed response from the first-of-its-kind press conference at the 2022 Qatar World Cup where he spoke in Welsh.

Given it was a 64-year-long wait before Wales made it to the tournament, there was a presence of Welsh language television channels at the event.

At the time, one English fan posted: "If you get the chance to take your language around the world, just do it. How else will people learn this about your country. Never, ever stop and Pob lwc Cymru."

One Welsh supporter explained: "I'm a big fan of Ben Davies doing all his interviews in Welsh, I can't lie. Having somebody representing the Welsh language is of huge importance."

Another also described it as a "proud day".

But despite being asked questions in Welsh, some people were quick to mock the sportsman.

Some of the messages received on Twitter included: "Ben Davies speaking Welsh again, the weirdo", "Ben Davies loser speaking Welsh", "Shouldn't be talking Welsh".

Davies explained how speaking Welsh comes "natural" to him given both his parents spoke the language and he attended a Welsh-medium school.

He added: "It's been with me throughout my life."

You can watch the entire Y Byd ar Bedwar programme on Monday evening at 8:00pm on S4C or S4C Clic.