Plaid AM raises Fred Keenor statue campaign at Assembly

The following question was raised this week at First Minister’s Question Time by Chris Franks, the Plaid Cymru AM for South Wales Central, whose regional seat includes Cardiff. Chris Franks is Cardiff-born.

He asked: “As you are probably aware, a grass-roots fundraising campaign has been launched by fans of Cardiff City Football Club to erect a statue in honour of Fred Keenor and the FA Cup-winning team in 1927—the only time that the FA Cup has been taken out of England. Fred captained the Cardiff City side, but also played for Wales on over 30 occasions during a period when many fewer internationals were played and despite being injured in the Somme. Fred, who was Cardiff born, is a true Welsh hero, who played at a time when footballers were not well paid. Will you give your support to this worthy fundraising campaign, which is organised by volunteers led by the Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust?”

First Minister Carwyn Jones gave a disappointing response: “I can certainly give moral support. I am aware of what happened in 1927, although, clearly, I was not there. It is something that is writ large not only in the history of Cardiff City, but in the history of the city of Cardiff itself.

“With regard to financial support, criteria are used by the Minister for Heritage in deciding whether or not such a statue would get support, because it is important to understand that we cannot support everything. However, I certainly wish the proponents of the statue well in looking to turn this into reality.”