Tragedy prompts Wrexham FC ace to have arms covered in religious symbols

Reporter:

Claire Gallagher

NEW signing Kevin Gall will be hoping to impress as part of the Wrexham FC team this season.

But the striker is making his mark off the pitch, too – in the shape of some elaborate tattoos.

Kevin, 28, sat through 40 hours of excruciating pain to get both arms completely covered with religious and other symbols, but the pain was worth it according to
Kevin, a devout Christian who endured four 10-hour tattooing sessions.

Speaking after a training session at Colliers Park, Gresford, Kevin talked the Leader through the intricate designs etched on to his body.

He said: “Three or four years ago three of my friends committed suicide in my home town of Merthyr Tydfil.

“It was a bit of a rough couple of years and I also lost both my grans.”

The tragedy prompted Kevin, who has always been a Christian, to get himself baptised and confirmed.

Kevin’s football career has taken him all over the UK to clubs including Newcastle United, Bristol Rovers and Yeovil Town, but he says he always makes time to pray before the game  and sometimes at half-time.

During his time at Lincoln City he met his now fiancee Kirstie Davis, 19 and the couple have just bought a house in Manchester.

The tattoos represent key moments in Kevin’s life and he decided to get them done in January.

He said: “I had always fancied getting one but never went for it.

“Every tattoo is something I believe in. I’m not one of these people who preach their religion. It’s just my own beliefs.”

He went to Ink Vs Steel in Leeds for his first sitting which included a portrait of Jesus and a Bible which says “Angels are speaking to all of us, some are just listening better”.

He also had a cross with his fiancee’s name on it and clouds surrounding the tattoos.

Speaking about the experience he said: “The pain – it’s not nice at all. It’s just like a pin being dragged on your arm constantly.

“It’s worse in different areas, like your shoulder and inner arm. It’s difficult to take your mind off it because the pain is so continuous.”

The second sitting two weeks later saw a poem added to his arm, a cherub and work on clouds surrounding the pieces.

Two weeks later Kevin went for a cross featuring Kirstie’s name, and writing on his hand.

And Kevin, impatient to complete the designs on both arms, waited just four days for the final 10-hour sitting which added the Virgin Mary, a guardian angel and Kirstie’s name in Latin with a Latin message of “always protect my angel”.

Kevin said: “A lot of people do stare but a lot comment and ask about the symbols.

“They all mean something to me so other people can think what they like.”

Does he plan more tattoos?

“I don’t know, I would like one on my back but I haven’t decided yet.

“But when I have kids I want to put their names on my wrists.”

Meanwhile, Kevin is looking forward to the challenges on the pitch with Wrexham.

He added: “I love it here, it is so professional – the most professional set-up I have been to.

“Everything from training and fitness to dietary advice is great.”

See full story in the Leader

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