THE earliest surviving footage of an international football match will be marked by a plaque at a North Wales soccer stadium.

When Wales took on Ireland on April 2, 1906 at Wrexham's Racecourse ground the moment was caught on camera by film pioneers Mitchell and Kenyon.

In 2006, on the centenary of the 4-4 draw, a plaque will be unveiled at the Mold Road stadium as part of the North Wales Film and Television Trail created by the Wales Screen Commission.

Organisers say the timing is particularly appropriate as the World Cup 2006 kick off will be just weeks away.

Mitchell and Kenyon's silent black and white film, which lasts for 2 minutes 10 seconds, is now lodged for safe keeping with Aberystwyth's National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales.

It was, by all accounts, an eventful match - the ball burst just before half time - watched by a crowd of up to 6,000 fans.

Three of Wales' goals were scored by Notts County player Williams Green from Aberystwyth.

Wrexham MP Ian Lucas, part of the long-running campaign to save the Dragons, said: "Wrexham is the birthplace of football in Wales.

"The Welsh FA was set up here, we have an excellent football museum - this is a huge football area by tradition.

"I think it's a tremendous thing for us to be able to commemorate this historic landmark in World Cup year. People right across the world will be fascinated by this.

"These films by Mitchell and Kenyon record history that we can see re-lived and I'm really excited about it.

"It's a source of great pride to me, the club and the town that this pioneering event happened in Wrexham.

"The fact that we have a record of it because somebody took the trouble to do something entirely new is tremendous."

Mr Lucas said: "It's a very important year coming up for Wrexham because I think we can establish a firm footing for the club."

Wrexham council deputy leader Bob Dutton said: "The plaque will serve as a permanent reminder of the importance of sport to Wrexham and the national significance we have played in Wales' football history." 

[Daily Post]