The Message on our Chest
19 May 2014

The Message on our Chest

Gorau Cwarae Cyd Chwarae – Best play is team play

Gorau Cwarae Cyd Chwarae – Best play is team play

Team play is the driving force at the heart of Welsh International Football. The message is woven into the chest of every Wales shirt. It unites Welsh players and fans under a single banner. We all wear the badge with pride...

Together. Stronger.

The Wales national football team is one of the oldest in the world. Since 1876, Wales has produced a steady stream of world class players. From Billy Meredith in 1900, thought of as one of the first true superstars of the game, to Gareth Bale over 100 years later.

“Gorau Chwarae Cyd Chwarae” was added to the Wales badge in 1951. Since then, every great welsh player has worn this message of unity on their chest. Charles, Toshack, Rush, Ludlow, Bale.

But ‘Gorau Chwarae Cyd Chwarae’ is not just about the biggest names and most famous players. The Wales team is more than the players on the pitch. Together we are stronger, and we all have a part to play.

“Together. Stronger” is the message behind our new campaign. Players of all Wales’ national squads, coaches, staff and fans all have a part to play.

The History of the motto

The Football Association of Wales was formed in 1876 in the Wrexham area by a group of businessmen who were keen to challenge the Scots to a game of football. (The first official England v Scotland game had been in 1872).

In 1951, to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the association, a coat of arms was granted to the association. The new badge was designed, to be used on the match shirts and all other items. Prior to this, a generic ‘rampant dragon’ had been used.

The FAW asked Mr.H.Ellis Tomlinson, MA, FSA to design the coat of arms that had been granted to the association by HRH King George VI. Tomlinson was a renowned expert in the field of heraldry and had written many books and manuscripts on the subject. He designed many council coats of arms, including that of Wrexham and Western Australia. He was a French teacher from Poulton-Le-Fylde in Lancashire and taught at Baines’ Grammar School.

The design incorporated a similar ‘rampant dragon’ but surrounded by eleven leeks on a green background within a shield to symbolise the eleven players on the football field. Below the shield was the new motto of the association: ‘Gorau Chwarare Cyd Chwarae’. The translation is, in effect, ‘Team Play is the Best Play’ meaning that to play as a team will bring the best results.

The Welsh words break down as follows
Chwarae - To play. Cyd - Together. Gorau - The best.

The badge made its first appearance on the player’s shirts for the 75th Anniversary match with a Rest of the United Kingdom XI at Ninian Park, Cardiff, in December 1951. Wales won 3-2 with goals from Ivor Allchurch (2) and Trevor Ford.

From that date, until 1974, the names of the opponents and the season were also included on a scroll above the badge. After 1974, the scroll was dispensed with, as was the motto below. The motto returned below the badge in the 1990’s.

For a small footballing nation, the motto is inspirational, calling-on the youth (the players) of Wales to represent their country with pride and aspire to be the best they can, not only as individuals, but more importantly, together as a team.

By extension, the same can be applied to all those connected with football in Wales - players, coaches, medical, administrators, volunteers and fans.

Together we are Stronger

Together. Stronger

The message on our chest
The message on our chest