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Welsh football t-shirts channel the joy of World Cup Qualification

10 Jun 2022 6 minutes Read
The tees based on the Qatar flag and the fan marches on Womanby Street (Credit: Turf Creative)

If you hadn’t noticed Wales qualification for the World Cup has gone down rather well across the nation.

The rise of Welsh football culture is now at an all time high. As is the demand for anything Wales and football related.

One designer who has been at the forefront of this boom is Rhydian Cole of Turf Creative.

Riding the crest of the Welsh football wave he’s launched a new range of tees inspired by Welsh football culture and the letter Q! (For Qatar and Qualification)

Here he guides us through the background to his new designs and his Wales supporting life.

BACKGROUND
Well I’ve been providing print on demand t-shirts for a while, based on a variety of subjects – sport, culture and I’ve also helped charities raise money by donating a % per shirt to them.

Given the Cool Cymru vibe at the minute, I’d already linked up Welsh Football Fans for Independence who I provided a ‘beautifully ugly’ shirt for, along with a Dewi Sant version too featuring the cross of St David.

I also provide print on demand Barry Horns tees, and being a huge football fan the next stage was obviously focussing on the World Cup.

I had a few brief ideas if Wales hadn’t got there with the Nations League matches happening, but we all know what happened on Sunday, and the rest is history!

The Indy Wales fans concept shirts (Credit: Turf Creative)

INSPIRATION
Initial designs were based on some photos that I had taken on my mobile phone on Womanby Street before I walked to the match, while there were also a few other ideas running around my creative brain after a few beers later on that Sunday, After speaking to a friend, Owen Williams on Tuesday, Qymru (Cymru + Qatar) was born.

13 designs later and there’s quite a bit of interest, with more to follow as we build up to post-Nations League and the World Cup. I’m sure plenty more will happen between now and Qatar that will lend itself to being featured.

Being a huge football kit geek, having grown up designing my own versions of jerseys from the age of 10, I always look at what people are wearing at the games, and having spoken to a number of friends around my age, I’m 41, it was noticeable that not all want to wear or own football jerseys.

The indie Cool Cymru vibe has never been so fashionable, and people are wearing tees and crew neck sweaters more than they ever have. We all know the bucket hat culture that’s developed amongst the supporter group thanks to SO58 which I again saw at first hand at the match, but there does seem to be a demand for supporters t-shirts and the like.

The range is also quite reactive too. I like to create designs based on any key moment, performance or incident. I have created a design based on the Welsh team photo from Sunday, and also a quirky alternative based on the photo of Connor Roberts, Ramsey and Bale leaving the team photo early.

There’s also some Womanby St, perhaps Cardiff’s coolest street, designs that I’ve developed that link the Qymru designs that feature the photos that I took.

Tee with numbers of Wales players who played in the Ukraine game (Credit: Turf Creative)
The ‘I’m Welsh Not English’ tee (Credit: Turf Creative)

HOPES
During Euro 2020, I did have a few people posting pics of shirts while at the games, but it was always something that I wanted to deliver – well designed, good quality supporters tees, sweatshirts etc. I’d love to develop a range of tees that people can relate to based on perhaps their favourite moment, favourite player etc.

For example, I’ve done a K13ffer Moore design, which I’m guessing Swansea fans won’t resonate with and I’m sure it’s the same when I create a design based on any Swansea-related player.

I’ve spoken to a few people today about the potential of a popup stall or shop located centrally in and around Cardiff so that they can try and buy, rather than buying blind from the website, so I guess it’s watch this space.

I also have a few other ideas in terms of products ahead of the World Cup specifically, which I’ll be looking at launching in due course all being well, some traditional, some not so!

Camel on a Welsh flag. Of course! (Credit: Turf Creative)
Tee based on the fan marches from Womanby Street (Credit: Turf Creative)

SUPPORTING LIFE
I’m a long suffering supporter. As a teenager we missed out on USA ’94. I always watched the Euros and World Cup without Wales playing and always had to pick my favourite team, more often than not based on the best kit.

To see Wales doing so well in qualifying for these major tournaments is huge, not just for football fans, but for the country as a whole after a few tough years. It’s a huge hats off to everyone at the FAW and Welsh Football on the whole as to how the Welsh team are performing at the moment.

Hopefully it will have the same effect it had on the Republic of Ireland when they qualified for the World Cups in the 90’s. There is a real feel good around the country which is fantastic to see, and the supporters on Sunday were unbelievable.

Emotional wreck

I was at the match on Sunday, emotional wreck. I was on BBC Radio Wales with Jason Mohammad Monday morning, even more of an emotional wreck and I’ve not changed since!

The emotion around the Ukraine fans being there in numbers really hit home too. Seeing them supporting, smiling and cheering their team despite what’s happening back in Ukraine was extremely humbling for me. I had a chat with a few on leaving the game, and wished them well, their families well and it’s only then it actually puts Wales qualifying for a World Cup into a bit of perspective.

Channelling all my energy into new designs and new ideas is how I’m coping with the fact that Wales are in a World Cup come November.

I was sat between a couple from north Wales, and a supporter from Newport originally who now resides near Washington DC and we were all hugging each other and dancing like it was midnight at a family wedding. It was something else and an atmosphere I’ve not experienced ever before.

All tees are priced at £20, with crew necks to follow over the weekend and are available via turfclothing.co.uk

 


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