By David Aspinall
A patriotic choir performed the Welsh national anthem on a plane to support their rugby team – despite the pilot being Irish, the nationality of their opposition.
Osian Rowlands and the rest of C.Ô.R – Côr Osian Rowlands – were waiting for their flight to leave Abu Dhabi on Saturday March 16 when they realised they would miss the potential Grand Slam winning match of the Six Nations season.
With permission of their Etihad pilot, who was Irish, they were able to perform ‘Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau’ – ‘Land of my Fathers’ in English – in the cabin.
Upon finishing, their fellow passengers give them a raucous round of applause, before Wales went on to win the match 25-7.
Osian said: “The passengers gave a huge roar and applause after we finished, and the crew were so friendly and looked after us very well throughout the whole flight.
“I contacted Etihad Airways to ask if they were showing the game, but unfortunately, they were showing the football instead.
“So, I asked if we’d be able to sing the anthem before we left, so we could send a good luck message to the team.
“When I got on to the plane, I spoke to the team, they called the pilot to come and speak to us, and he was Irish, you couldn’t make it up.”
The choir had been performing at the Abu Dhabi Festival alongside Sir Bryn Terfel, Kristine Opolais and Vittorio Griggolo.
They were formed in 2013 and have since performed on the soundtrack of the Grammy Award nominated film Pride.