North East Wales

Wrexham's Bellevue FC team set up for minority groups

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Media captionPlayers said Bellevue FC is like "a family"

A new football team has been launched in Wrexham for players from black and ethnic minority groups.

Bellevue FC aims to give foreign nationals access to competitive sport, as well as the chance to make friends from other countries.

The team features players from Poland, Romania, Albania, Portugal, Syria, Eritrea, Sudan, and some from Wales.

As well as those studying or working in Wales, the team has also welcomed refugees who have fled their homes.

Image caption The Bellevue FC team training in Wrexham
Image caption Yacub Amin is now studying applied science at Coleg Cambria

They include 21-year-old Yacub Amin, from Syria, who said: "I left Syria and came to the UK because of the horrendous troubles in Syria.

"It was really bad. Every day people were killed... we would be in their position if we hadn't left."

He described the team as a "colourful family", adding: "Football is one of the things that brings people together."

Image caption Tamam Lencho says he was arrested in Ethiopia for disagreeing with the government's politics

Another player, Tamam Lencho, who was tortured during conflict in Ethiopia, said he would have been killed if he had not fled the country.

His journey to the UK took him through Sudan, Libya and Europe.

He said the new club had a "very nice team", adding: "We play together and we share our problems as well."

Co-founder Delwyn Derrick said Wrexham had a Portuguese-only team, a Kurdish team and other nationalities but none that brought different countries together.

He added: "I find it hard to believe no-one has done it before."

The team has been accepted into the North East Wales Football League and hopes to attract sponsors and funding.

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