Welshman keen to stick in Europe while his sibling heads to Mexico!Being best man at your brother’s wedding is supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life.
But Reading right-back Chris Gunter will have no hesitation sacrificing that privilege, if it means he can help deliver the happiest day in footballing history for a whole nation!
By beating Northern Ireland to reach the quarter-final at Euro 2016, Wales have already matched their best ever tournament performance. Their only ever other appearance at a finals competition was back in 1958, when Pele scored the only goal for Brazil in their World Cup defeat.
But for the Newport-born defender, if the Dragons defeat Belgium in Friday’s 8pm kick-off in Lille – and reaching the last four in the European Championships against either Poland or Portugal – that will mean having to skip the wedding of footy-fanatic brother Marc, who is set to tie the knot across the pond!
“Marc has a problem already because 20-odd people fly on Tuesday to Mexico,” said Gunter, who is the most-capped player in the current Welsh squad and set to make his 72nd senior appearance for the Dragons.
For sale - A couple of tickets to Mexico. (Wedding suit included) https://t.co/anwUOheXEx— Chris Gunter (@Chrisgunter16) June 27, 2016
“I know my brother is talking about leaving Cancun on Thursday and flying straight in [to Lille] and flying straight out after the match, but I’m not sure how that will go down with the rest who are flying out with him.
“He is absolutely delighted, though. He booked the wedding before we qualified. We knew it would only clash if we got to the later stages, so to be stood here now even talking about it is unbelievable.
“I am sure the wedding will still go ahead. By hook or by crook, I am sure everyone will get to the games and get to the wedding!”
It won't be the first time a Royal has had wedding plans clash with a game... Nicky Shorey debuted for England against Brazil in the first senior game at the new Wembley, and got hitched the very next day!
Meanwhile Gunter has been an ever-present in Wales’ four games to date so far in the tournament – meaning that Friday will mark a quite incredible 65 games played for club and country in the last 12 months.
Success on Friday night will mean having to improvise in how to deliver a best-man speech to brother Marc. But he has already got that covered…
“I think it will be the first best man’s speech ever made on Skype!” laughed Gunter.
“But I don’t think there would be anyone happier for me than my family if I wasn’t to make it to the wedding.”
Our best wishes go to Chris, as well as Reading Academy graduates Hal Robson-Kanu and Simon Church, as they aim to take Wales to uncharted territory with a win against Belgium on Friday!