THE WALES football team's return to Wrexham after an 11-year absence has been heralded as providing a major visitor boost for the town.

More than 10,000 football fans thronged to the Racecourse Ground for Wednesday night's friendly international with Trinidad and Tobago.

Town centre pubs and restaurants were packed out beforehand and visitors congregated around a Continental Street Market hosted on Hope Street and Queen Street.

The Leader:

Wrexham Council's tourism department organised a "welcoming" initiative to greet supporters who travelled from all over Wales and the UK for the game, which while lacking the glamour of playing appearances from the likes of Gareth Bale, Joe Allen and local boy Harry Wilson ended satisfyingly with a last-gasp winner from Tattenhall-based Ben Woodburn.

The council's destination manager Jo Bickerton said: "The Football Association of Wales (FAW) and Wrexham Football Club approached us last month and we arranged to have 20 tourism students from Glyndwr University acting as "welcomers".

The Leader:

"There were fans from Cardiff and Swansea and supporters of the Trinidadian team who would have been unfamiliar with Wrexham. So our volunteers directed people to the turnstiles, helped out those who were getting off at the train station and pointed those who had been in town in the right direction as they walked up to the ground from Regent Street.

"The aim was to build up the atmosphere from lunchtime onwards and there was a lot of vibrancy and colour as people started to come into town. The night-time economy had a real economic boost from the game.

"Admittedly, people were getting a bit edgy with it being 0-0 until right at the end, but there was a real carnival atmosphere to the day and night."

The town's renowned independent community pub Saith Seren was packed out and tweeted its thanks.

The Leader:

"Great to see so many of The Red Wall coming to Wrexham, especially the bus-load from Caernarfon who came to Saith Seren! Diolch!"

Rhosddu councillor Marc Jones, a dedicated follower of the national side, said: "It was just another reminder of how much football, whether it's Wrexham AFC or Wales, brings to our town and helps business."

Supporters were praised for their behaviour with British Transport Police North Wales reporting there had been no issues with fans. Police tweeted "Fans were great! Brilliant to have international football back in North Wales."

After the lengthy absence of senior international football hopes are now high the Racecourse will be chosen as a venue for a competitive international in the future.

They were backed by Sky Sports presenter and dedicated Welsh fan Bryn Law, who tweeted: "It’s a big deal hosting a senior international these days. UEFA staff on site oversee and report back, so hopefully they’ll say good things about The Racecourse.

"Floodlight issue was sorted, seats were switched to accommodate more media and the playing surface was excellent."