Posts tagged: Glamorgan

How the Welsh introduced national anthems to international sporting fixtures

By , 11th October 2015 22:31
Originally published on 3 February 2013. Updated 11 October 2015

The tradition of  singing national anthems before international sporting matches is believed to have originated at Cardiff Arms Park  on 16 December 1905.  The occasion was the first rugby match between Wales and New Zealand.

During that year’s home internationals, Wales had won the Triple Crown. (France didn’t play their first match in Britain until 1907 and didn’t officially become part of the Five Nations until 1910.)  By the time New Zealand’s inaugural northern hemisphere tour reached Cardiff for the test against Wales, they were undefeated after 27 matches, including victories against the other three home nations.  801 points had been scored, just 32 conceded.

With two undefeated sides coming face-to-face, the match was billed in the press as the “match of the century”.


The shirt worn by the All Blacks Captain in the 1905 Wales vs New Zealand match was put up for auction in October 2015.  It sold for £180,000 to set a new world record for a rugby shirt.


Their pre-match haka had added to the aura of All Black invincibility.  Having traveled to watch the visitors play at Gloucester, the Welsh Rugby Union decided to undertake their own experiment in psychological warfare at the Arms Park.  At the end of the haka, Teddy Morgan led the Welsh team in singing Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau.  After a few seconds, the capacity crowd of 40,000 picked up the refrain.  The Lyttleton Times reported to its readers in New Zealand that “The effect was intensely thrilling, even awe-inspiring.”

For the record, Wales defeated the All Blacks by 3-0, although the result remains the subject of controversy to this day with allegations that a New Zealand try had not been awarded. The New Zealand Rugby Museum account of the tour can be found here.

Recognition of Hen Wlad fy Nhadau as the Welsh national anthem effectively dates from 1905.  Prior to the match in Cardiff, it had been a popular song, originally called Glan Rhondda, that had been written in 1856 by Evan James from Pontypridd and his son James.  So not only did the “match of the century” at Cardiff Arms Park start the tradition of singing anthems before international fixtures, it also effectively gave Wales its own anthem.

A history of The Welsh National Anthem by Sion Jobbins was published on the eve of the 2013 Six Nations prompting a strange debate on whether it should be sung by non-Welsh speakers on a number of BBC Radio stations on the first Saturday of the tournament.


140 years of FA Cup final venues

By , 4th May 2012 18:42

The FA Cup final has been synonymous with Wembley since 1923. However, 10 venues have staged finals over the tournament’s 140 year history. Another three have staged replays.

Although the overwhelming majority of Finals have been played in London, Manchester, Liverpool and Cardiff have hosted finals while Derby, Bolton and Sheffield have had the honour of hosting replays.

As with 4/5/6 Nations rugby venues, the sporting heritage of several started with cricket: The Oval, Racecourse Ground and Bramall Lane, while Lillie Bridge and Stamford Bridge were important in the early development of athletics as an organised sport.

The Oval’s role as venue for 20 out of the first 21 finals had a lot to do with Charles W Alcock being simultaneously secretary of both the Football Association and Surrey County Cricket club. As the principal co-ordinator of fixtures for visiting cricket teams from Australia, his cricketing contacts probably had something to do with the 1886 replay being taken to Derby’s Racecourse Ground.

Three of the venues are, sadly, no longer sporting landmarks. Their approximate outlines are plotted on the map below. (Zoom in to find them in West London, Greater Manchester and Bolton.)


View FA Cup Final venues in a larger map

The full list of FA Cup final winners can be found here.

75th anniversary of the first defeat of the All Black’s by a club side

By , 27th September 2010 14:12

With apologies to friends in the land of the long white cloud…

To mark the 75th anniversary, This is South Wales has posted this great article on how Swansea became the first clubside in the sport of rugby to defeat New Zealand’s All Blacks on 28 September 1935.

The match was played at the St Helens Rugby & Cricket Ground in Swansea which is also one of 35 venues in the British Isles to host 4, 5 or 6 Nations rugby internationals.

Wallasey, the Glamorganshire and golf’s Stableford points

By , 15th July 2010 17:09

Lovely article from Peter Corrigan of the Independent on Sunday which talks about the role played by Wallasey Golf Club and The Glamorganshire in the development of the the Stableford points system which allows golfers of different standards to compete against each other.

Britain’s sporting museums, galleries and collections

By , 21st November 2009 22:39

The map below shows the locations of sporting museums, galleries and collections in Britain.  It includes institutions involved in Our Sporting Life as well as other museums and collections mentioned in the June 2006 Sports Heritage Network Mapping Survey by Annie Hood.

Many are dedicated to a particular sport. Others are museums with a more general remit which include significant collections with a sporting connection.

There are currently 56 collections featured on this map. It’s probably no surprise that 11 of the museums – the biggest group – are dedicated to football. As one of the longest established organised sports, cricket accounts for seven establishments. Follow the link at the foot of the map to see a listing of the museums alongside a larger map.

Museums related to hunting have been included on the grounds that national hunt racing, equestrianism, and shooting sports have the pastime in their ancestries. Its also worth remembering that before Victoria ascended the throne in 1837, in Britain the word “sport” was most often associated with hunting and angling.

It’s interesting to see that sporting museums can be found the length and breadth of Britain. Let me know if you know of any I’ve missed.

PS: its a shame Google maps doesn’t offer icons for archery, motor sport, cricket, shinty, fencing, shooting, badminton, rugby or tennis!

View Britain’s sporting museums and galleries in a larger map

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