By Huw Cooze
I’ve seen many, many games in my 40 odd years following the Swans, none more intense than Preston in 1981. We left the Millers Arms in Ynystawe early in a convoy of six cars, but by the time we reached the M4 just a mile away the convoy had split up.
Despite passing hordes of the Jack Army making their way to Deepdale, we never saw any of our lot again until we hit a pub on the outskirts of Preston. It had not been planned and without the aid of mobile phones it was quite uncanny that all six cars stopped in the same pub. Great minds think alike.
The game itself passed me by although I seem to remember a group of about 50 Blackburn Rovers supporters to our left who had come over to support their Lancashire neighbours hoping for a Preston victory in order for Blackburn to pip us at the post. Why they weren’t at Bristol Rovers supporting their own team was beyond me.
They had something to cheer when Preston pulled one back and news filtered through that Blackburn were winning at Eastville but we were still 2-1 up at this stage as I took leave and went to the toilet.
From my position behind the goal it took quite a while to push through the crowd. The toilets were located to the rear of the stand. There were many grown men there pacing nervously like expectant dads in a maternity ward. They were unable to watch the end of the game. Everyone knew that if Preston scored Blackburn would be promoted and not us.
I got back to my place just in time to see Jeremy Charles score our third goal and seal our place in history. That was the signal for all those ‘expectant dads’ to rush back to the stands to join in the celebrations. Happy days…