It has been 32 years since Wales were crowned Unofficial Football World Champions last time and tonight (20/06/2021) “Cymru” will have the next chance to conquer the Unofficial World Championship Crown – enough reasons for our guest author Paul Godding to dive into Wales’ exciting UFWC history!
Wales was the 3rd nation to come on board when they started playing international football in 1876; Wales’ first UFWC match ended in a 1-1 draw with England in 1895. It wasn’t until Wales’ 13th UFWC attempt in 1907 that they became Champions. Up until the beginning of World War 2, Wales held the title on 12 occasions, either winning it from another team or by defending it successfully (through a win or draw) in the next game as reigning Champions.
Wales has played for the title 69 times, mostly in the early days of football as very few other teams played the home nations. As UFWC holders going into the 1934 World Cup, the Welsh were still World Champions after the tournament as none of the British teams took part, even though Italy had just won the World Cup!
The golden generation of Welsh football was undoubtedly the 1930’s (not 1958 or 2016 sadly) when Wales won the British Championship four times. In fact, the last silverware won was the British Championship outright in 1937.
During the 1920’s and 30’s, Wales had been UFWC holders nine times. It was only because the subversive FAW had followed the English into leaving FIFA for political reasons that they didn’t take part in the first three World Cups of 1930, 1934 and 1938. Thankfully the FAW has since grown some teeth and are now an independent body and very professional in their current thinking.
Could Wales have won the World Cup in the 1930’s? Absolutely, but we’ll never know for sure!