For many sports' fans in Wales, football is very much the game. In recent decades, rugby may have received more media attention, but there is some justification for the claim that it is football, which is truly the national game of Wales. After all, the playing and watching of football has been characteristic of cities, towns and villages throughout the country and it is football, more than any other sport, which has helped forge an all-Wales identity. Whole communities have taken delight not just in their local teams but in the careers of those who have played for leading English and continental teams. And, naturally, there has been particular pride when these stars have joined with home-based players to wear the magnificent red shirts of Wales. In For Club and Country: Welsh Football Greats a distinguished team of experts and enthusiasts celebrates the careers of a host of Welsh football's finest players - from that first superstar, Billy Meredith, through the hey-day of the peerless John Charles to latter-day heroes such as Mark Hughes and Ryan Giggs.
Rather than try to define a list of all-time greats, individual authors have set out to evoke the genius of those players who have inspired them most, setting them firmly in both their cultural context and within the changing pattern of the game in the United Kingdom and internationally.
Peter Stead is a writer, broadcaster and historian of popular culture. Huw Richards is the sports correspondent for the International Herald Tribune and Financial Times.