Owain Fon Williams: Wales goalkeeper turns to art to help Dunfermline

Owain Fon Williams painting
Owain Fon Williams won his solitary Wales cap in a friendly against the Netherlands in 2015

With no football to play, Wales international goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams has turned to his other great talent, painting, to help his club Dunfermline Athletic.

The Scottish Championship side are one of many football clubs to have taken a hit financially as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Williams, 33, joined Dunfermline on loan from Premiership side Hamilton Academical in January but he is unable to play at the moment with almost all football across the world suspended.

Now, with Dunfermline fans aiming to raise £40,000 to help their club in these uncertain times, Williams is eager to contribute to the cause by selling his artwork.

The former Tranmere Rovers player has had his paintings displayed at galleries in Wales and Scotland, and he hopes his artistry can help Dunfermline in their hour of need.

Latest artwork
Owain Fon Williams' latest art of Dunfermline Athletic's stadium East Park End

"I started thinking about how I could contribute and what I could do," Williams told BBC Radio Cymru.

"They [Dunfermline] have helped me since I joined in January. I've become good friends with many people there, players and staff.

"Some of the staff have been there for years. One has been there for more than 20 years, doing everything from cooking to washing kits and cleaning the floors.

"People like that are at every club - in football, rugby or cricket clubs - and he deserves his wage."

The Dunfermline fans' appeal has already raised more than £30,000, and now Williams hopes his latest paintings can help them reach their goal.

"I have a painting of supporters walking to Dunfermline's home ground, East End Park. I'm going to give it to the club so they can auction it in order to raise money," he added.

Williams has an impressive collection of paintings, some of which depict footballing scenes.

Having been part of the Wales squad which reached the Euro 2016 semi-finals, Williams painted several of his team-mates and produced one particularly memorable piece of work which featured the whole squad and staff celebrating their quarter-final victory over Belgium.

That summer in France remains an inspiration for the man from Penygroes, Gwynedd.

"When we were told to stay at home by Dunfermline because of the virus, I was sat by my easel and I thought to myself about what I would paint next," Williams said.

"Every time I think about something to paint, I feel a pull to paint something about the Euros."

Williams has not been in a Wales squad since Ryan Giggs took over as manager in 2018 but he has not given up hope of playing at the next European Championship, which has been postponed from this summer until 2021.

Owain Fon Williams' painting of Wales celebrating their Euro 2016 quarter-final win over Belgium
Owain Fon Williams' painting of Wales celebrating their Euro 2016 quarter-final win over Belgium

"It would be special," he said.

"Every time I was in a Wales squad it was something I treasured.

"If I got the chance again, I'd jump at the opportunity. I'd give my last penny to be in another squad.

"Not a day goes by without someone asking me about the Euros, and I always answer with a smile on my face because it was a dream for everyone.

"If I won't be there in the squad, I'll be there as a fan.

"To see Wales at another major tournament would be a dream for us all, and next year we'll appreciate it even more."