Hong Kong plays an inflated and sheepish role for the Welsh in today's FA Cup final

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 17 May, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 17 May, 2008, 12:00am

Wales is a nation of the UK famed for its singing, rugby ... and sheep. Welsh folk have long tried to shrug off stereotypical associations with the woolly, four-legged ruminants that bleat 'baah' in unison, but we now learn that Hong Kong is playing a part in ramming home the jibes often thrown at the Welsh during sporting events between them and their old enemy - England.

An expat Welshman has it on good authority that more than 10,000 inflatable sheep have been ordered from a Hong Kong-owned mainland factory for fans to take along to today's FA Cup Final between the Welsh capital's team, Cardiff City, and England's Portsmouth at Wembley stadium.

Yet the irony is that the Welsh windbags have been bought by an evening newspaper in Cardiff as part of a promotional drive linked to the local club's success. The last and only time the Bluebirds won the trophy was back in 1927 when Arsenal were beaten 1-0. With cup fever rife in the Welsh capital, the hopes of Chinese inflatable toy manufacturers must also be running high. We hope the sheep looks nothing like the infamous Dolly the inflatable sex sheep (pictured). The Hong Kong-made sheep are given out by street vendors if punters buy the newspaper or an FA Cup magazine it has produced. Oh the shame of it all!