Wales. Flag. Internet sensation.

In that order.

Three words that pretty much sum up a crazy 48 hours for Welsh football fan Gareth John after he helped instigate a picture that has been lauded in Wales - and lamented in Madrid.

Prior to Tuesday night’s game between Wales and Hungary, that ultimately saw Ryan Giggs’ side secure qualification to Euro 2020, Gareth had purchased a new flag bearing the words ‘Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order’.

The phrase of course, pokes fun at the words of former Real Madrid player Pregrad Mijatovic, who recently accused Gareth Bale of placing the Spanish club third in his list of priorities behind playing for his country and reducing his handicap.

Wales fans duly turned this into a chant during the win over Azerbaijahn on Saturday, and then after Aaron Ramsey’s double secured that 2-0 victory in Cardiff, Pembrokeshire man Gareth inadvertently played a big part in the player celebrations.

Sam Vokes and Bale himself spotted the flag in the crowd during their lap of honour, and just moments later, the whole squad had it aloft and the image inevitably went viral.

“I was pleasantly surprised when the Welsh players wanted to pose with my flag,” said Gareth, who was born in Pembroke Dock and went to school in Tenby.

“It was such a tremendous night for Welsh football and there was a real carnival atmosphere after the game.

“I was holding it up when people around me told me the players wanted me and my flag down to the front of the stand. So I went down there and gave it to FAW staff.

“Although I did have to shout at Vokes to get it back after.”

And of course, by the time he’d got home Gareth, who goes by the handle @BuzzBoncath on Twitter, was a social media phenomenon.

“My Twitter feed went nuts,” he admitted.

“I’ve had people from Germany, Spain and Russia getting in touch. I’ve taken a bit of stick, but mostly from Real fans who seem to want Bale to leave - so guess we all want the same thing.

“It was made by Mr Flag, who are based in Swansea. I had it made as a bit of fun to lampoon the Madrid fans and their ideas of Bale. He’s one of our all time greats.”

But for Gareth, who has written for Welsh football fanzines, qualification was about far more than his brief fame. It was just reward for a lot of time and money spent following his country.

 “I’ve been going to the games since the early 90s and I love it. I keep an eye out for the Haverfordwest results but I don’t have a club really – I just think international football is purer. It’s not about who has the biggest cheque book it’s about developing your population.

“And I feel the FAW are doing that well.

“I hope to be at Euro 2020, but I haven’t been on an away trip in years now, so I might not have enough loyalty points for tickets.”

And if he does make it to Baku, St Petersburg, Copenhagen or Rome (draw pending), likelihood is he won’t be short of drinks offers as the now iconic flag will go with him.

“The flag is safely back in my house now and I see it as a piece of Welsh cultural history.

“And as for Gareth Bale – I think it’s safe to say he will leave Real Madrid after Christmas.”