Dafydd Iwan's 'Yma O Hyd' hits number one spot in charts after Wales' World Cup qualification

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Dafydd Iwan sings Yma O Hyd before Wales' play-off victory over Ukraine on Sunday (June 5). Credit: Huw Evans Picture Agency

Dafydd Iwan's patriotic anthem 'Yma O Hyd' has hit the number one spot on the iTunes charts after Wales' historic World Cup qualification.

Around 33,000 fans inside Cardiff City Stadium sang along to his famous Welsh language folk song as he performed it before and after Rob Page's men's play-off final victory over Ukraine on Sunday (June 5).

Welsh football fans launched a campaign after the match to get the song to number one in the UK singles chart, with some claiming the song helped lead Gareth Bale and his team to one of Wales' greatest ever sporting successes.

Following the game, the 78-year-old was joined by Wales stars on the pitch as they celebrated the historic achievement.

Originally released in 1981, the song tells the story of how Welsh language and culture has survived more than 2,000 years against all the odds.

It has become something of an unofficial anthem for the Wales national team as they qualified for the nation's first World Cup since 1958.

Dafydd Iwan, originally from Carmarthenshire, is a well known figure in Wales, with the singer and former Plaid Cymru politician also raising the roof ahead of Wales' play-off semi-final against Austria back in March.

The charts campaign was started by Wales fan Andrew Dowling, who described the song as "iconic".

Explaining the reasoning behind the bid to get the song to number one, he said: "Dafydd Iwan is a Welsh legend and the song is very powerful in the current climate of what is going on in the UK and most importantly in Wales right now, politically and in a sporting sense.

"The song has long been an iconic song and will be for future generations thanks to Wales qualifying for the World Cup and younger people listening to his music.

"The connection between Wales fans and the song is very strong. You can see the passion in Dafydd's eyes when he sings it - he gets it, we get it and the future generation will get it."

Wales fans singing before their side's victory over Ukraine in the World Cup play-off. Credit: PA

Speaking following his performance on Sunday, Dafydd said he was "glad that the song had reached new levels" and added that the play-off final was very different to his performance ahead of the Austria game.

"The plan was always to have me perform before both games," he said.

"Ahead of the kick-off against Austria was a memorable moment, it felt like there was a lot more singing than I had expected.

"This time round, it felt like everyone was singing. It felt like there was an effort to sing a Welsh-language song, even if some did not understand the words. I'm glad that the song has reached new levels and feels like it belongs to football fans even when they don't speak Welsh.

"Of course, it was pouring with rain and I was soaked. But, if anything, it added to the atmosphere and the message behind the song: in spite of everything and anything, we are still here."

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