Wales was brought to a standstill yesterday after the giant likeness of former Wales and Cardiff fullback Mike Rayer appeared in the sky above the Millennium Stadium and Cardiff Arms Park.
The miraculous apparition, witnessed by tens of thousands of people and captured on hundreds of cameras and mobile phones, lasted a full twenty one minutes and has sent the rugby mad nation into a frenzy.
The vision of history’s greatest three-quarter, above the land on which he bedazzled the rugby world for nearly 16 years, has sparked furious debate with an array of wild interpretations of what the phenomenon may have been designed to signify. Social media has been awash with theories and religious authorities are furiously arguing the meaning of the sign.
At present public opinion appears split over whether the vision is a portent of doom or glory for Wales’ 2015 world cup campaign, which begins in less than a month in the Millennium Stadium.
Debate over meaning
“I just felt so peaceful the whole time I saw Mike’s wondrous visage up there in the clouds,” said Andrew Evans a Cardiff resident and lifelong rugby fan. “It was a peace I used to feel as a boy on the terraces of the rugby watching Mike under the high ball. You always knew he would catch it. I just know it means he is coming back to bring us the William Webb Ellis trophy.”
Despite being unequivocally the greatest fullback ever to play any code of football, Cardiff’s Mike Rayer was limited to just 21 caps for Wales due to the black magic and evil practices of handful of jealous West Walians. The rugby messiah was banished to the wilderness of Bedford not long after his playing career ended and since that fateful day legends have abounded about when he will return to save his nation.
“This is clearly a sign that the messiah is coming to save us in our hour of need,” said Philip Scott, a professor in theology at Cardiff University. “We have texts in our archive here at the college that date back to the dark days of the 1990s that predict this.”
To back up his theory Scott presented a message, written in Latin and using human blood, on the inside cover of a copy of the 1995 Welsh Brewers Rugby Annual that resides in the university archive.
Translated, the message states: “And in the sky a sign will come of the banished deliverer who shall one day liberate an ungrateful, divided, petty nation unto the glory of an overflowing cup of gold and honey. The messiah will return as the Dark One starts to fall.”
Scott is in no doubt Rayer is the messiah and the Dark One is Roger Lewis, who will step down as Welsh Rugby Union’s chief executive after the world cup.
“I’d be amazed if Gatland didn’t name Rayer in the squad as captain next week and Wales didn’t subsequently ride on to glory. The prophecy cannot be denied. All hail the chosen one!”
Fears dark times ahead
Despite the general consensus of the public being that Rayer’s face in the sky signifies positive times, others have seen it as hailing a new dark era.
“It’s God reminding us of our follies,” said Gethin Brook, a senior figure in the Church of Wales. “We were gifted the most talented full back of all time and we did not recognise it and we shunned him. The face in the sky was a sign that the world cup holds dark times and Welsh rugby faces utter destruction. We must atone for our sins. Justice is coming and we are all guilty!”
Confusing matters, Mike Rayer, who currently coaches Bedford Blues, has not been seen for the past 48 hours. Interestingly, several social media posts claim the former Llandaff North man was seen near the national team’s Vale of Glamorgan training headquarters late yesterday evening - further strengthening rumours he is due a shock return to the team.
Meanwhile, thousands of believers have begun taking part in ‘Mikey Rayer’ drinking sessions to pay tribute to the vision.
“Drinking all day is the least I could do in the circumstances,” said Andrew Jackon of Cathays.
12:34pm: Rayer’s vision appears above the Millennium Stadium and within minutes traffic in the city is brought to a standstill.
12:35pm: Torrential rain, flash floods and a plague of frogs reported in Swansea.
12:43pm: A BBC Wales TV crew attempts to film the apparition but upon turning their cameras towards the sky they suffer an ‘unusual technical failure’.
12:45pm: William Hill bookmakers shorten their odds on Wales winning the World Cup to 2/1.
12:45pm: The River Taff, which runs alongside the Millennium Stadium, turns crystal clear and begins to teem with dolphins, whales and mermaids.
12:55pm: The vision fades as suddenly as it had appeared.
13:10pm: South Wales police confirm no crimes were recorded for the duration of the vison. NHS Wales reveals Mrs. Williams from Splott’s bunions inexplicably healed during this period after four decades of unsuccessful treatment.
14:00pm: Vatican confirms apparition to be genuine miracle.
14:23pm: Wales Online produces a poll asking for fans’ view on the vision
14:24pm: Wales Online produces another poll on the subject
14:56pm: Wales Online writer suggests Rayer would be best placed to return at openside flanker.