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Gwyn Thomas

Exeter Alumnus set to write official song for the 2018 World Cup

An Exeter Alumnus has had the prestigious honour of being asked to write the official song for one of Russia’s official 2018 World Cup host cities, Saransk.

Gwyn Thomas, a French and Russian graduate from the University of Exeter, completed his degree in 2002 and has now swapped English life to work in Moscow, Russia. Gwyn, who says music has always been a big part of his life, started playing in a band in Moscow named October Sun. After first performing live with his band in Saransk, in 2014 at a FIFA Fan Festival, Gwyn was later asked to write the official song for host city Saransk for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Gwyn commented “The Head of the Committee told us how we fitted in so well and how the Saransk people enjoyed the performance, especially our material. At that point, he also asked whether we would write an official song for their city to be used for the World Cup in 2018.

There was no hesitation in accepting! I mean, World Cup, music, Russia; pretty much all of the things which have been part of me for virtually all of my life.”

Gwyn’s student experience at Exeter gave him the opportunity to start his career in another country when he went on to work for the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce a few years after graduating from Exeter. He had lived and worked in Russia for over 13 years before he was presented with the astonishing opportunity to work with FIFA and the World Cup.

Gwyn looked back nostalgically saying “It’s a bit of a cliché but my Exeter University days were unforgettable… I will be eternally grateful to the Russian and French departments at Exeter for providing me with the foundations to follow my passion, and take what I have learned and put it into practice on a daily basis.”


Date: 22 February 2017

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