Craig's call to arms: Bellamy will wear his heart under his sleeve for Wales

Craig Bellamy has often been accused of wearing his heart on his sleeve. on Wednesday night, he will wear his heart under it.

On the eve of Wales's World Cup qualifier in Germany, the country's skipper chose the perfect moment to issue his call to arms by unveiling a spectacular example of body art. 

Craig Bellamy

Statement of pride: Wales captain Craig Bellamy is proud of his country's history - as his tattooed arm (below) displays.

Craig Bellamy

Bellamy's tattoo tribute to medieval Welsh nationalist Owain Glyndwr was two years in the making and is designed around the name of his son, Cameron, which was already emblazoned on his arm.

The West Ham striker, who grew up on a tough council estate in Cardiff, is a confirmed patriot. He said only last week he will never retire from international football and after unveiling the artwork, he was keen to stress just how much his country means to him. 

When asked, he said: 'It's Owain Glyndwr. I've studied my Welsh history and he's my hero, what he stood for and who he was.

'So I've had the Battle of Pilleth depicted on my arm. It's my own design, but the artist came up with his ideas, too. We sort of bounced them off each other.'

The Battle of Pilleth was fought in 1402 and won by the Welsh, but the English triumphed in the return leg, so to speak. 

Bellamy was not part of the Wales team who pulled off a goalless draw in Frankfurt last season, when Germany had already qualified for the European Championship.

Wales boss John Toshack laughed off news that tonight's hosts are already planning to run the rule over potential bases for the 2010 World Cup.

He said before the game in Moenchengladbach: 'The Germans are an outstanding side. It's a tough ask here. They may say they took their foot off the gas in Frankfurt but a lot of our boys will take confidence from that match.'

Diego Maradona

Dye-ing art: Bellamy's odd show of patriotism joins a trend among top footballers to display loves and allegiances by having swathes of their bodies tattooed. Aston Villa midfielder Steve Sidwell (left) had his marriage vows tattooed on his back, Diego Maradona (centre) a picture of Che Guevara, and David Beckham (right)...well, just about anything on his arms and parts of his body.