Author Archives: swanshlf
Swans100 was proud to be at Wembley to see the team triumph. Our (well my) official Swans100 pre-match prediction was 4-0, so we just missed out.
The Wembley Cup triumph is of course not part of the first 100 years of the Swans, but what a way to kick-off the next century. The first entry for Swans200 in 2112!
Don’t forget to wear your traditional football rosette to Wembley….here is an example from a few years ago, courtesy of Tash Smith.
What a top-quality item of commemorative apparel!! But it did the trick at the Autoglass Trophy Final in 1994.
In advance of the trip to Anfield this weekend, a little run through the Swans’ history in league games there:
Swans at Anfield in the League
With the club on the brink of a historic first-ever senior cup final, we can have a little look at the times Swansea nearly made it to a final, and the three Wembley appearances to date.
Swans at Wembley?
Today (16th Jan 2013) will see the Swans play their 47th replay in the FA Cup competition. Highlights included the first in 1915, which sadly saw the then non-league Swans lose 2-0 to Newcastle, and two replays in the 1964 run to the Semi-final. Low points include the 8-0 thrashing by Liverpool in 1990, and of course the losses to non-league opposition such as Nuneaton and Havant & Waterloville.
Check out the stats and some of the programmes here 100 Years of FA Cup Replays
We have added some complete programmes to the archive, lent by Alun Griffiths:
The only cup-tie played against Chelsea before this week’s League Cup clash: Chelsea 1964
The first ever home European tie: Slavia Sofia 1966 (if the Swans win the Capital One Cup they will be back in Europe for the first time since 1991)
That game against Leeds in 1981 – the proudest day of the Swans’ history up til then, the very first match as a top-flight club: Leeds 1981
Just to add interest to yesterday’s victory over Chelsea, the last (and only) time the Swans have won a match at Stamford Bridge was back in 1925. On 21st November of that year, the newly-promoted Swansea Town team made a first-ever appearance at the Bridge, beating the hosts 3-1. Goals came from Len Thompson, Billy Hole, and of course the mighty Jack Fowler. 43,000+ watched the Second Division game.
The return league match in April 1926 was a 0-0 draw – most Swansea fans would be happy with that scoreline in the League Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg next week! Just out of interest, the only other cup-tie the two teams have ever played together was a League Cup 4th-round game at the Vetch in November 1964 – Chelsea won 3-2. They were a top-flight outfit then, while the Swans were a division below. Clearly the contest is a lot more even this time around….
Contemporary newspaper picture on the 1925 game
Cover of the programme from that first Chelsea game
And we can’t resist including this picture again: who is that man in the Swansea shirt?
The only Cup-tie victory the Swans have had over Arsenal was in 1926, as Swansea Town reached the Semi-final for the first time.
Follow this link to find out about that game and the other 2 FA Cup ties played between the two clubs: Arsenal in the Cup
Jonathan de Guzman and Luke Moore came to YGG Gellionnen School on 8th November to present Daniel Russell with his prizes. 10-year-old Daniel won our school competition and wrote the best “Why I Love Swansea City” story!
More on this link: Players present prize
Follow this link to some of the public events we have held during the course of the last year…
Swans100 Events – Review of the Year
The first part of our public exhibition has opened in the Swansea Museum (http://www.swansea.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=1076). The illustrated panels tell the story of the first 100 years of the club, with some great pictures. There are also items on display lent by Swans fans for the exhibition.
It will run until the end of January next year.
The second half of the show will start in the National Waterfront Museum from December 22nd, and this will feature more about Swansea City as a part of the wider world of football, in Wales and beyond.
A new addition has been made to the Scrapbooks page – we are scanning those that have been sent in to us, and will add them to the archive. They offer a very personal take on what was important to the compiler!
We have recently copied some correspondence between the Swans and Bury Football Club, dating back to 1936/37. It seems there was a dressing-room incident, when the Swansea trainer effed and jeffed at the Bury doctor – who was attending two damaged Swans. we don’t know exactly what was said, but a few quite huffy letters followed…..quite topical given the current media coverage of name-calling and insult-trading in football.
Follow the link to The Great 1936 Bury Dressing-Room Incident
Apologies to all of you Swans100 fans out there, we have had a bit of a break from posting on the site.
Mainly because we have been out gathering more material, and hosting a great open day at the Waterfront Museum in Swansea. More on that to follow.
The really good news is that the archive project will continue for a further 6 months, giving us a chance to colelct more memories and stories.
So do please keep in touch, and carry on building the virtual collection.
Come and celebrate the Swans Centenary with us at the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea this Sunday 16th September. Local football legend John Hartson will be talking about his life in football at 2.30. There will also be football-themed activities for the whole family: have a Swansea City swan logo painted on your face; make a badge; join the table football challenge; and watch amazing football freestyler Ash Randall, or even join him in a workshop.
For die-hard fans, there is an opportunity to come and make a contribution to the Swans100 archive. You can bring along your memorabilia, tell us why you love the Swans in the Video Booth, and learn more about the project. Also a chance to buy a copy of “Swansea ‘til I Die”, the Supporters’ Trust Centenary book, full of stories and memories from the fans themselves.
All this in the National Waterfront Museum in the Marina, from 11-4 on Sunday. Free entry for all the family. Museum website: http://www.museumwales.ac.uk/en/swansea/
Swans score their first century
Well, we’ve finally made it to the ripe old age of 100. At 3.30 today, 7th September, it will be exactly 100 years since Swansea Town kicked off their first professional game in the Southern League Division II. The team that day was Whittaker (player/manager) in goal; Nicholas and Cleverley at full-back; Jepp, Duffy and Hamilton (captain) at half-back; Coleman and Messer on the wings; and Ball, Grierson and Swarbrick playing as inside forwards.
Ball scored the only Swans’ goal in a 1-1 draw, in front of 8,000 people at the old Vetch Field.
To read more about the game, follow this link 100 Years Ago Today
(According to the City Council the Vetch is open as a public park, so you can go down there and pay homage at 3.30!)
A collection of Swansea Town/City images from the last 50 years. Photos courtesy of the South Wales Evening Post . All rights reserved.
We are doing our best now to try and add material to the website – we have had so much stuff in, and been out interviewing people, that we haven’t been as brisk as we might with posting the material!
Bill Johns has rightly politely requested to know where his story is! I am sure he is not alone, but please do be patient, there are few of us and a lot of you! It will all go in the box eventually.
Meanwhile, have a look at Bill’s record of 50+ years of Swans’ fandom, covering three generations of fans: “How’d the Swans get on”
For an excellent blog of one man’s top day in West London on Saturday, follow this link: http://lostboyos.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/lost-in-qpr/
If you have any more, share them with us!
The 5-0 victory over QPR on Saturday was an historic moment on several counts: the HIGHEST ever Swans’ first day score; the HIGHEST score the Swans have recorded in the top flight in this 4th season in the top division (1981-83, 2011-now); FIRST ever victory at Loftus Road since joining the Football League in 1920.
A great start to the season. Do you have any first day memories you would like to share?
The Swans100 centenary project website is proud to have passed 40,000 individual views in its lifetime – almost as many people who claim they were there at the Vetch through all the dark days, such as when the Swans lost 4-0 to Kidderminster!
Keep on clicking on the site, we will try and add as much new stuff as we can, we are still working through the amazing material that you, the fans, have brought in.
We are still working on the second centenary book, but when that is done we will concentrate on the site. Let’s see how quickly we can get to 50,000!
It’s common place to hear chants on a Saturday afternoon at The Liberty or in years gone by at The Vetch Field, however over the years some Swansea City fans have been inspired by the team to pen poetry on the team that they love.
We have compiled a series of poems from different fans on the Swans, describing their feelings on their club. To read this collection, please click here.
Swansea Town the first Welsh team to tour abroad.
The first ever Swansea tour abroad was, by a curious coincidence given the new Danish connection, to Denmark in 1923. They played three games in Copenhagen in May of that year, winning 2 and narrowly losing the third. The South Wales Daily Post carried reports on the tour, the longest piece being a despatch sent back by the Swans’ manager Joe Bradshaw. This describes the long journey there by train, boat and more trains, and some of the antics of the players. The Daily Post suggested that the loss in the third game was due not just to playing 3 games in 5 days, but also to having been very well feasted by their hosts!
The research for this was carried out in the Central Library by Swans100 volunteer Peter Dawson.
Follow the link to read pieces from the Daily Post: Danish Tour 1923
Swans fan Matt Parry has kindly lent us his collection of various shirts, ranging from the 2011-12 season right back to the late 1970’s! Click on the first image below to browse our gallery of historic kits.
What’s your favourite ever Swans kit and why? Leave a comment below to let us know.
Swansea ’til I die – a century of supporting the Swans…
For 100 years people have followed the Swans. There have been good times and bad times. There have been moments of joy and despair. Players and managers have come and gone but the supporters are always there.
To celebrate the club’s centenary the Supporters’ Trust have produced a 192 page book of fans’ memories and stories. Packed with photographs from across the club’s 100 year history, the book is a treat for any supporter.
It contains contributions from fans of all ages, from school children to those who saw their first game in the 1920s. The stories are both funny and sad and reflect the club’s colourful and sometimes turbulent history.
It’s a book about passion and commitment. It’s about cheering in the stands and looking out for results on the other side of the world. It’s about favourite spots on the terrace and strange superstitions. It’s about family and friends. It’s about why we care. It’s about why we’re ‘Swansea ‘til I die’.
Much of the book’s content is drawn from this Swans100 project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund to record the club’s history, part of which involves an online questionnaire. The book means that many of your responses are now in print! It also contains the finalists of a competition for primary school children who were asked to write about what the Swans mean to them.
The book retails at £15.99 and is available from the Club Shop.
Swans fan Roy Morgan kindly brought us a large quantity of programmes from various periods of the clubs history from the 1940s up to the 1980s. On top of this, Roy also brought in three official club handbooks from the 1914-15, 1925-26 and 1926-27 seasons. These handbooks gave supporters an insight into how the club was being run, introduced the playing squad to fans, informed them of the dates of the fixtures for the upcoming season and also gave an outlook towards the progress of the football club in both a local perspective and as part of a wider perspective within the Southern League.
We are still looking for old documents relating to the history of the Swans, if you have anything that you think we may want to look at please get in touch!
To view Roy’s finds follow this link.
For all you Swans’ fans who are missing the comfort of football statistics, there is an excellent site devoted to Swansea City which has a table charting all of the club’s performances in the football league since 1920.
You can also get a dose of Europe-wide stats from the following link:
This goes straight to the page on the Swans’ avaerage home gates, season by season in the league, but there is other stuff too. Don’t be put off by the label as part of English football history – the Swans have always competed in a league based in England, and have proudly been the first Welsh team to achieve many important milestones (e.g. first to compete in European competition, first to reach the Premier League).
At the risk of offending those of our audience who already know their way around the on-line world, here are some other links to the main Swans’ fan sites:
An appropriate item previously published in a match-day programme: during this Jubilee year, we can look back 60 years to the Coronation to catch a glimpse of Swans’ royalty.
With Newcastle United in town, it’s the perfect time to unveil a rare
photograph of the legendary Ivor Allchurch. Known affectionately as the ‘Golden Boy’, Ivor is widely regarded as Swansea’s finest post-war footballer. Signing professional at the Vetch Field in May 1947, the Welsh international inside-forward was leading marksman three times for the Swans before moving to Newcastle United in October 1958 for £28,000 plus Reg Davies. Awarded the MBE, he later worked as a storeman and died in Swansea in May 1997.
Lifelong Swans supporter Steve Meredith sent us the photo on behalf of
his mother, Veronica Meredith. Ivor is pictured kicking off a celebration match for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1952 on ‘The Black Road’ which is now the Cwm Level pitches and a stone’s throw away from the Liberty Stadium.
Steve said: “He agreed to kick off the celebrations as he was a
Landore boy. He lived in Landeg Street next to where my mother lived
and knew everyone there. My mother lived right behind the Coopers pub
which is still there today. My gran Marie Grey is in the picture (left) and the two other ladies are May Leach and Mrs Fitzgerald.”
Ivor made 445 appearances and scored 164 goals for Swansea City, as
well as gaining 68 caps for Wales and scoring 23 goals at
international level. He starred for Newcastle between 1958 and 1962,
making 143 league appearances with 46 goals. Sir Matt Busby once said that Ivor never needed a number on his back for identification because his polish and class could not be missed. He said he was up there with the greatest players of all time, yet had the modesty that became him.
Last week our Open Days in Gorseinon brought us new great material from passionate supporters! On the 13th and 14th of June we organized two Open Days, inviting supporters to join us and tell us stories about their passion for Swansea City AFC. We have been hosted by the library and the Canolfan Gorseinon Centre and we would like to say thanks to them for the hospitality.
Let us introduce you to Shirley and her poetic inspiration, the first of some supporters we are going to present to you in the next few days.
At a meeting held at the Royal Hotel in Swansea on June 14th 1912, the final decision to form the club seems to have been taken, and the first chairman (J. W. Thorpe) was elected. So is today the real birthday of the Swans?
Come along tomorrow (Wednesday 13th June) to the Gorseinon Library between 11 and 3, to meet the Swans100 team. We will be recording memories and looking at memorabilia with Swans’ fans.
On Thursday 14th June we will be in the Gorseinon Centre again from 11 til 3.
Hope to see you there!
We have to share a hilarious story and accompanying picture with you all. Swans fan Tash Smith and her cousin set off for the Play-off final last year in full gnome regalia…..it just goes to show that eccentricity and devotion to the Swans are not the sole preserve of the old and infirm of mind!
“There is a tradition in our family of collecting gnomes, it started with my Grampa’s collection which has now been split between my dad and my auntie. Over the last couple of years the Swans have released a couple of Swansea City gnomes, which of course we had to buy.
So when the play-off final beckoned last season, myself and my cousin Sarah, decided that we would dress as Swansea City gnomes. At the time of the play-off final, Ashley Williams was sporting a wonderful beard which we managed to adapt our beards to look like his.
On Wembley Way before the match we were filmed by ITV Wales news singing and chanting and had requests to have photos with a number of fans.
We had a wonderful day which was topped off by our arrival back in Swansea. Our bus dropped us off on the Kingsway and as we were walking past The Dragon Hotel, the one and only Lee Trundle was coming out of the entrance! At the sight of a Swansea City gnome, he chuckled and said hello.”
So, two young women who had swooned over Trundle’s handsome boyish good looks finally got to meet their hero – while dressed up as gnomes and wearing beards!
Great story Tash, and here is a photo of Tash and Sarah on the big day:
Far away from gnome….Tash and Sarah at Wembley
A couple of people have sent links to the tune “Here Comes the Chocolate Major”. It was written by Bennett Scott and A.J. Mills, and a version sung by G.H. Elliot can be heard on Spotify, and also by following this link: https://www.box.com/s/223be2e275cfc8de8357
Thanks to Simon Hurford and Rob Baker
Staff at Swansea Library have unearthed an incredibly rare document which contains the lyrics to the first specially-written club song. Local Studies Librarian Gwilym Games found what he believes is the only surviving copy of The World of Sport, a magazine produced in 1913 to provide more in-depth coverage of local sporting interests. The first issue from the 7th February 1913 is in very poor condition, but staff were able to scan it. Amid articles on cycling, dog training and other minority sports, there was a report on the Swansea Town Supporters’ Club, and notice of their fund-raising “Smoker”; and the words to the Swans War Song.
The lyrics refer to players of the day, and should be sung to the tune of “The Chocolate Major”. The opening line about the gay crowd heading for the match could be taken in quite a different light today (don’t let the Cardiff fans get hold of it…)
Simon Hurford and Rob Baker have sent us links to the tune “Here Comes the Chocolate Major”. It was written by Bennett Scott and A.J. Mills, and a version sung by G.H. Elliot can be heard on Spotify, and also by following this link: https://www.box.com/s/223be2e275cfc8de8357
Follow the links to other pages on this fascinating story:
To read about the song and its lyrics: Swans War Song
To find out more about the Supporters’ Club in 1913: Supporters’ Club 1913
To learn a bit more about the World of Sport: World of Sport 1913
It doesn’t seem that the World of Sport was very successful – there is no trace of any other issues!
Over the 100 years of the Swans’ existence, we have played Wolves 31 times home and away, league and cup. There was a long stretch of nearly 50 years when we did not play them in the league, between 1932 and 1981. We did play them in two FA Cup matches, both of which saw the Swans knocked out. At home our record against the Midlands’ club is very even – won 5, lost 6, drawn 5. I think it is fair to say that the upcoming game on Saturday is one of the few over the years where the Swans can definitely be counted the favourites.
Here is an extract from the South Wales Evening Post of January 5th, 1957, when the Swans went down fighting at Molineux, to lose eventually 5 – 3 in the 3rd round. To make matters worse, C*****f beat Leeds away on the same afternoon!
Steve Bresnan of Swansea Vale has a collection of over 400 football mugs, including 20 or so Swansea examples. Follow the link to see more about the Mugs ; or follow this Flickr link to see all of Steve’s Swans mugs! Swans100 Photoshare
Follow this link to read Steve Meredith’s incredible tale of shirts, twins, 15 minutes of fame, Wembley’s giant poster……and a little matter of promotion to the Premier League!
The Face of Swansea
Our first project Open Day was held at the Swansea Central Library last Sunday 1st April. We were prepared for the crowds…..but luckily only a couple of dozen people came in. Disappointing you ask? No, not at all! Everybody who turned up brought some fantastic memorabilia, had an awful lot to say, and stayed for ages. We would have had trouble dealing with many more.
Bryan's glass - a present from Lokomotiv Leipzig
We came away with Barry’s collection in two boxes and half-a-dozen carrier bags – his whole life stored under the bed (since he had the loft converted!) – it will take some scanning for sure; Bryan brought in a rare item – a special glass given to players and staff to commemorate the visit of Lokomotiv Leipzig to the Vetch in 1981. Bryan was the coach driver for the East German team, and was lucky to recieve one of the glasses (link Leipzig glass) ; Leighton had a Post Office 1st Day Cover celebrating promotion to the First Division in 1981; Terry came in with his grandson Ethan and his poems about the Swans; Derek (I think you probably all know which one) popped in to let us know about his Swans’ songs on Youtube; and Roy told us about life in the Sandfields as a kid in the 1940s and 50s.
Roy from the Sandfields - some great stories there.
So all in all a very successful day in terms of quality material to add to the archive.
Look out for news of any further Open Days where you can come along and bring your memorabilia and memories to add to the Centenary archive and books.
The project has taken a big step forward in the last 24 hours through the efforts of volunteers. Students in the History department at Swansea recorded our first project video, a conversation between four fans about their supporting experiences – watch out for the edit to be posted on the site. Another of our volunteers, Gorseinon man Gethin Evans, has been interviewing former players, and so far has talked to Leighton James, Jimmy Rimmer and Wendell Morgan. Gethin also brought in a scrapbook complied by Darwell Williams’ son Martin, to be scanned and added to the archive. Again, watch out fro these to be posted on the website.
These are great initiatives – the archive will only reach its potential if the wider community contributes! Get out there and search those lofts again – find out if that old chap across the road really did play for the Swans – come and talk to us if you have any good stories!
Remember, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get in touch, or call 01792 606535.
Another batch of reports on significant games in the Swans’ history has been added to the Historic Games page. Two FA Cup semi-finals, the first League game at the Liberty, and those incredible 2011 play-offs. Can you remember who the Swans played in that first match at the Liberty iin 2005?
Just a quick update to let all our readers know that Gilbard Honey-Jones has got in touch wirh us, following the eralier “Boy of the Year 1964 where are you?” story. Gilbard (not Gilbert, as the “Soccer Star” article spelled his name) is a teacher, currently working in Malaysia, after spells in various other countries. Even so, the passionate support for the Swans revealed in that 1964 report has not been dimmed by time or distance – he made the 3-day trip back to the UK to watch last years’ play-offs. Well done Gilbard, as you say once a Jack always a Jack! (Follow the link to Boy of the Year 1964 if you have not already seen that story)
Contributor Byron Cooze brings 1918 ticket to archive
One of the most interesting pieces of Swans’ memorabilia we have taken into the virtual archive is a ticket from a match between Swansea Town and the Royal Flying Corps at the Vetch on 1st April 1918. Brought in by Byron Cooze, it belonged to his friend Tommy Williams, who probably had it from his father. But when we started researching the match, there was no mention of it in the South Wales Daily Post. They did however plug their own fund-raiser at St. Helen’s, an international rugby match between South Wales and New Zealand. Did the football match actually take place? Was it an elaborate April Fool joke? Was there rivalry betwen the various charitable funds, with the Daily Post only promoting their own War Prisoners’ Fund? Find out by following the link Swansea Town at War, 1918
The ticket is a great find, so please keep looking in those attics and cellars for any more treasure as good as Byron’s offering.
Brendan and the boys are good for business
After the recent victory over Arsenal, the South Wales Evening Post reported a huge knock-on effect on business and tourism in the city, from the growing success of the football team. Visiting fans are filling city-centre hotels and staying longer within the Swansea area, and even the city pubs are crammed with locals wanting to watch the games on TV. Belonging to the richest league in the world has given Swansea international exposure on a previously unknown scale, and can only be good for business.
Another side of the coin is the attractiveness of the city to players who are being wooed by the club – the beauty of Gower, the seaside location and the warm atmosphere of places like the Mumbles have been used by the club as additional enticements to players potentially moving to the area.
It is hard to think that the previous (brief) sojourn in the top flight had the same impact on the city’s fortunes, but there can be no doubt that the whole current set-up – the stadium, the club organisation, the team and the football they play – is of a quality sufficient to get world-wide attention. The club is not only bringing pleasure to the hearts of the fans, it is bringing a glamour and a profile to Swansea that could not have been imagined 30 years ago.
The city now needs the team to stay in the Premier League and help defy those gloomy economic predictions! Supporting your Swans is now about more than just football – it’s about taking a pride in Swansea as a whole, and keeping the football team as the beating heart of a city facing huge challenges outside of the Liberty stadium.
In 1964, 12-year-old Gilbert Honey Jones was elected Swansea Town’s Boy of the Year. It was a reward for his devotion to the Swans and his activity with the Junior Supporters’ Club. He got to travel to Crystal Palace, sit with the Swans’ directors and even eat with the team, according to an article in “Soccer Star” magazine. Apart from Gilbert, young fans Stewart Grindley, David Squibb, Paul Bowden and Peter Honey Jones were named in the report – waving their rattles and autograph books and cheering on the Swans through all adversity.
Where are Gilbert and the others now? Still following the Swans? We would love to hear from you, and anyone else who was Boy of the Year. Follow this link to read the whole “Soccer Star” piece: Boy of the Year 1964
Scrapbook cover from the 1960s
Two scrapbooks from the 1960s have been donated to the archive. They mostly contain newspaper cuttings of transfer news, speculation and deals. The unknown compiler also made lists of Swansea players he saw and rated them with his own star-mark system. Are there any more items like this out there? Or a shoebox under the bed or in the attic? It’s all great stuff, and please keep it coming.
Follow the link for more images: Scrapbooks
Swansea Town travelled away to play Arsenal on the 28th January 1950, in the 4th Round of the FA Cup. Sadly the Swans lost narrowly to the eventual Cup winners. 57,305 saw the game at the old Highbury stadium, but we don’t know how many went up from Swansea! Were any of you there?
Team lineups for the Arsenal-Swansea Town FA Cup match Jan 1950
The on-line archive being created through this site, to celebrate 100 years of professional football in Swansea, is growing rapidly even before the official press launch. We have seen fanzines, ticket stubs, cigarette cards, signed menus, photographs, videos, committee minutes, and even the original company incorporation documents! There is so much fantastic material out there, please keep it coming.
What is even more exciting are the incredible stories that people are writing as part of our survey (see the Survey page on this site to do it yourself). we have posted some of them on this website. They are often moving, funny or just simply interesting historical memories – but the level of intense support for the Swans comes shining through. These reminiscences will be the heart of the archive, and create a fantastic historical resource to be mined by the researchers and football fans of the future. You can read these stories and memories in the fans section.
Thanks to all who have contributed to the project so far. There is still a long way to go, so please encourage everyone you know who has even a passing interest in the football club to join in and be a part of history.