The Football Association of Wales’ Head of Public Relations, Ian Gwyn Hughes, has recently been presented with an Honorary Fellowship of both Aberystwyth University and University of Wales Trinity Saint David.
Ian Gwyn Hughes has been honoured for overseeing many key moments in Welsh national football, having led the FAW’s communications at UEFA EURO 2016, UEFA EURO 2020 and the 2022 FIFA World Cup. He has also been recognised for his endeavours to make the Welsh language a central feature of the FAW’s work and for giving the Welsh language and culture an international platform. He has also been innovative in promoting football in Welsh communities across the country.
Originating from Colwyn Bay, Ian Gwyn Hughes was educated at Eirias High School, Colwyn Bay and Ysgol Glan Clwyd, St Asaph. He went on to study History and International Politics at Aberystwyth.
In 1982, he began his broadcasting career working for CBC (Cardiff Broadcasting Company) radio. By the end of the year he started working as a presenter and commentator for the BBC Wales Sports Department, and over the next three decades worked for the BBC as football correspondent, football editor, and as a commentator on Match of the Day. He joined the FAW in 2011.
Steve Thomas, Director of Communications & Public Affairs at Aberystwyth University, said: “For football fans, the name Ian Gwyn Hughes is very familiar. For many years, he was the voice of international football in Wales. Since 2011, he has led the Football Association of Wales’ communications, where his work can be summed up by the now familiar adopted line – Together Stronger.
“There is no doubt that Ian’s vision, to bring everyone together as one strong group of supporters, and to build a real bond between the public and players, has paid off. His work has been part of a wonderful success story for the national team – for football and for the nation.”
Professor Dylan Jones, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of University of Wales Trinity Saint David, said: “We are recognising his far reaching, wide ranging and impactful influence off the field and for his incomparable leadership of cultural change and community engagement. And this through his role as Head of Public relations at the Football Association of Wales.
“You could say that he brought The Red Wall to the consciousness of the watching world. It is a wall that stands for passion, pride, and conviction. A national pride that radiates from the stands and screens to inspire each and every one of us and our team to believe.”
On his honours, Ian Gwyn Hughes said: “I’ve worked with some fantastic people in the broadcasting world at the BBC and as the Head of Communications at the Football Association of Wales. I never thought that a degree in History and International Politics would lead to being Head of Communications at two European Championships and a World Cup. It is a privilege and an honour to be awarded the fellowships.”