Can the beautiful game affect some beautiful baby names?

As Wales prepares to face Portugal tonight in the Euro 2016 semi-finals, we look at how popular the Wales players’ names are in England and Wales.

After the Euro 2016 tournament, could we see names such as Gareth and Hal increase in popularity?

1. Gareth Bale versus Cristiano Ronaldo

These two go head to head tonight, but when it comes to the name game Gareth – which was given to 22 baby boys in 2014 – had a slight lead over Cristiano – given to 17 baby boys. However, while Bale didn’t feature at all in the list of names given to three or more baby boys – Ronaldo was the name given to 11 of them.


2. Will we see a few more Hals?

Names which feature in the Euro 2016 Wales squad and management that could possibly see a rise in popularity are: James (4,167 baby boys in 2014), Aaron (819 baby boys), Ben (364 baby boys), Joe (291 baby boys), Ashley (155 baby boys), Neil (42 baby boys), Chris (31 baby boys), Wayne (27 baby boys), Gareth (22 baby boys) and Hal (13 baby boys).


3. What about Kanu? Or Vokes?

Following the trend of using surnames as first names we might also see rising popularity for Taylor (339 baby boys in 2014), Chester (116 baby boys), Ramsey (13 baby boys), Allen (10 baby boys), Robson (10 baby boys) and Williams (five baby boys). And who knows, we might even see a few new entries – as Bale, Kanu, Vokes, Ledley and Gunter are all possibilities.


4. Names for Welsh boys

Neither Gareth, Aaron or Chris made it into the top 100 names given to baby boys born in Wales in 2014 – something that could change in the years to come.

Love baby names? Keep an eye out for the names given to babies in 2015 – due to be published in August 2016.

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