The 2016 Nos Galan Mystery Runner is Wales’ football manager Chris Coleman – the man behind the nation’s momentous 2016 Euro campaign.
Swansea-born 46 year old Chris Coleman said he is delighted to be in Mountain Ash on New Year’s Eve – the hometown of his grandmother.
Over 1,500 runners are expected to take part in the Childrens’ Races, Elite Race and the Adult 5kFun Run.
Event organisers Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and the Nos Galan Committee are delighted that Chris Coleman is following in the footsteps of many illustrious sports star as Nos Galan Mystery Runner to represent the spirit of Guto Nythbran.
“It is a huge honour for me to be a part of the Nos Galan Road Races, an event that is world-renowned and an event with such a wonderful history.
“I am particularly proud to be in Mountain Ash, which was the hometown of my grandmother before she moved to Swansea, so I am all too familiar with the Nos Galan Road Races and the legend of Guto Nyth Bran.”
Cllr Ann Crimmings, Cabinet Member for Environment, Leisure and Culture and also Chair of the Nos Galan Committee, said:
“We are delighted to welcome Chris Coleman to Mountain Ash as our Nos Galan Mystery Runner on this special night.
“The popularity of our event grows year-on-year, with more participants and supporters than ever before coming to our County Borough for the races. All race places were filled many weeks ago – the fastest ever.
“The appearance of such a sporting icon as Chris Coleman will no doubt boost the popularity of our event even further as he has decided to bring such a memorable year for himself and the Wales team to a close on the streets of Mountain Ash.
“The whole nation celebrated their Euro 2016 success in France and I am sure the whole nation will be watching as Chris Coleman helps us to keep the legend of Guto Nyth Bran alive.”
Playing in their first major finals in 58 years, Chris Coleman led his team through an heroic Euro 2016 Championship campaign earlier this summer, which was halted by Portugal at the semi-final stages.
Despite losing to England in the group stages, Wales topped their group which also contained Slovakia and Russia before defeating Northern Ireland 1-0 in the last 16. They then came from behind to claim a famous 3-1 victory over Belgium, currently ranked second in the FIFA’s world rankings, before succumbing to Portugal.
The Council staged ‘Football Fanzones’ for Wales’ Euro 2016 games at Ynysangharad War Memorial Park in Pontypridd, which attracted thousands of football fans. Thousands more packed onto the streets of Cardiff for the homecoming parade of Chris and the Wales team.
Since then, Chris Coleman has been granted the Freedom of the City and County of Swansea and has been shortlisted for the FIFA Coach of the Year award, which will be announced in early 2017.
He was also honoured with a Special Recognition Award at the Wales Sport Awards 2016.
Swansea-born Chris Coleman, 46, made 32 appearances as a player for Wales. At club level, he also played for Manchester City, Swansea City, Crystal Palace, Blackburn Rovers and Fulham before going on to manage Fulham, Real Sociedad, Coventry City and Larissa.
He was appointed as Wales’ manager in 2012 following the death of his predecessor Gary Speed.