You may hear the passionate chanting of ‘Yma o Hyd’ before you see them, but the sea of red, yellow, and green that follows completes the picture of steadfast Welsh spirit that radiates from supporters of Team Cymru.

The original iconic hats are made by Spirit of 58, a Bala-based clothing company set up in 2010. Sales have soared since the revival of Welsh football as Cymru qualified for the European Championships in 2016 and 2020, and now the World Cup 2022.

Ahead of the monumental tournament – Wales’ first World Cup qualification in 64 years – the Football Association of Wales teamed up with the brand. Giant bucket hats have been popping up all over the country: it’s not just the heads of fans that’ll be adorned with bucket hats, but the streets of Cardiff, Wrexham, and Swansea. The distinctive, giant models have been attracting attention from passers-by, who couldn’t wait to stop and snap photos with the hat, as excitement continues to build ahead of the team’s arrival in Qatar.  Who knows where a giant bucket hat will pop up next? Wherever Wales lays its hat…

Football Fan Culture

Welsh football fan culture is a unique thing. Struggling to live up to Wales’ historic success in rugby, football fans have had to be more resilient. But this has made them strong and instilled a sense of graciousness in fans today who have waited a lifetime to see their team thriving.

This inherently passionate, purposeful nature of supporters has not gone unnoticed. In 2016 Wales fans were officially recognised by UEFA for their ‘outstanding contribution’ to the Euros in France. Defying certain stereotypes of football fans, the Red Wall were heralded for their dedication to their team and respectful behaviour. This etiquette is weaved throughout Wales’ fans as a sort of unwritten rule, knowing the hurdles they’ve have faced to get there and the many near-misses. The chance to support their team on the biggest stage is a new phenomenon, and not an opportunity they take lightly.

It is the bucket hat that encompasses this ‘together, stronger’ feeling. Wherever Wales play, home or away, you can spot the bucket hats and retro shirts peppered throughout international crowds and are instantly comforted in knowing that Wales is near.

Forget fisherman and festivalgoers, the Red Wall will go down in the history of those who don bucket hats after the unmistakeable tricolour headwear grabs the attention of the whole world in Qatar.

Fun facts about the humble bucket hat ...

  1. Cymru’s connection with the bucket hat was started by fan-owned brand Spirit of 58, their name a reference to the team’s last foray into the World Cup 64 years ago. Their shop sits on the high street in the lakeside town Bala alongside a range of other independent retailers, cafes, antique shops and accommodation.
  2. First edition bucket hats from Spirit of 58 have sold for upwards of £200 on eBay.  
  3. Cymru players have embraced the fan fashion with shots of stars in key moments- walkabouts at Euro 2020, the celebrations after reaching the World Cup in the play-off v Ukraine- wearing hats and cementing the connection with The Red Wall.
  4. In the BBC studio after the Ukraine playoff game, former internationals and pundits Ashley Williams and Danny Gabbidon donned hats alongside suits to celebrate the magical moment.
  5. In the run up to the World Cup, giant bucket hats have started popping up all over Cymru from Cardiff to Wrexham and Swansea with more on the horizon…

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