Cardiff make noise from World Cup joy after Wales qualify for first time since 1958 | Wales

Tthe day before the night before, Cardiff was still making noise. Fans in bright bucket hats and red shirts wandered around the Welsh capital on Monday in dismay but delighted at the prospect of their national side participating in the World Cup for the first time in more than six decades – with many already hatching plans to come to Qatar in November.

“It was amazing,” Nicky Wilson said, drinking coffee at a Yates bar proudly wearing a “Spirit of 58” T-shirt – a reference to the last time. Wales qualified for the biggest football award – as she prepared to move her party back home to North Wales.

“The anthem, the crowd, the game, the parties later. Everything was perfect. Everyone is having a hard time right now – Covid and now the cost of living crisis. This is such an acceleration to the whole country and, by hook or perishable, we will reach Qatar. “

Wales celebrating after winning the World Cup final with Ukraine at Cardiff City stadium.
Wales celebrating after winning the World Cup final with Ukraine at Cardiff City stadium. Photo: Tom Jenkins / The Guardian

Watching the Welsh football team tends to be a family affair. Wilson’s daughter, Annie, a 21-year-old student, began traveling with her mom and the rest of the “Red Wall” when she was 10. “It’s one big, amazing community,” she said.

Annie Wilson watched Wales play Mexico at the Rose Bowl stadium in Los Angeles but Sunday’s 1-0 win over Ukraine at a rain-soaked Cardiff City stadium surpassed that. “Last night was the best, no doubt.”

James Cameron, also a transport worker from North Wales, was found handling Guinness – a combination of the dog’s hair and a determination to continue celebrating for a few more days.

As a Welsh supporter of a certain vintage he experienced a lot of disappointment, his low point 1-0 loss against Russia which meant that his country did not qualify for Euro 2004. The best was the 3-1 win against Belgium at Euro 2016. “But go through to the World Cup The finale is something else, ”he said.

While the mood in Cardiff was cheerful, it was also a time for reflection. Peter Hughes, a carpenter, spoke about how the edge between the big Welsh clubs, which used to be felt on international matches, had disappeared. “It feels like a more united football community in Wales now,” he said.

A Welsh speaker, Hughes praised the Welsh FA for the way it promoted the language, for example by identifying the team as “Cymru” rather than Wales. After the final whistle, the Welsh squad lined up to sing the ballad Yma o Hyd (Still Here) with folk singer Dafydd Iwan.

Deian, left, and Will, in bucket hats.
Deian, left, and Will, in bucket hats. Photo: Francesca Jones / The Guardian

Political students Will and Deian, two of those mocking around the capital in bucket hats, said they loved the team’s atmosphere as well as their ability on the pitch. “The feeling ‘still here’ is very important,” said Will. “Everyone is together and we always will be.”

Fans also wanted to pay tribute to Ukraine – the team and the nation. Deian said there were many tears shed at the end of the match, not only for the victory of Wales but for Ukraine. “It was a surreal, moving game,” he said.

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It was a good weekend for the suppliers of hats, shirts and flags in the shops opposite Cardiff Castle and people were still coming for souvenirs on Monday. “We had a tough few years,” Bob Rice told Castle Welsh Crafts. “So it’s nice to see some commotion. The victory is good for the country and good for trade. “

Bob Rice, who owns Castle Welsh Crafts and has run it for over 40 years.
Bob Rice, who owns Castle Welsh Crafts and has run it for over 40 years. Photo: Francesca Jones / The Guardian

The music for many was BBC Radio Wales. Performer Jason Mohammad played the Heroes version of David Bowie and Manic Street Preachers of This Is The Day. “What a day!” he told the Guardian after his phone show. “I’ve been following Wales since 1982 and I’ve been reporting on them to the BBC since 1997 so being on the air and spreading the words ‘Wales qualified for the FIFA World Cup’ was incredible. The thought of seeing so many red shirts in Qatar in 2022 is one that fills me per hwyl [a sense of fun, energy, enjoyment, passion], balchder [pride] and joy. ”

At Andy’s Hair Hut in Cardiff Market, Andy Smith and his 20-year-old son Jacob discussed Operation How-To-Get-There. Andy estimated the trip at £ 7,000 each. “But we’re looking for cheaper alternatives,” he said.

Andy Smith and his son, Jacob, at Andy's Hair Hut in Cardiff Market.
Andy Smith and his son, Jacob, at Andy’s Hair Hut in Cardiff Market. Photo: Francesca Jones / The Guardian

He investigated whether it was possible to cross from a neighboring country – or find a place in a cruise ship anchored on the shore. “It simply came to our notice then. It’s about creating memories. Wales is like a bumblebee. The bee should not be able to take off and we should not be able to qualify for the World Cup. But it can and now we have. We are the bumblebees of football. “

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