Category Archives: 1970s

The Czech keeper at the Vetch

There is one more incident that really stands out for me and it’s from a Wales v Czechoslovakia European Championship qualifier played on 21st April 1971. Despite being just under 11 years old, it’s stick in my mind every since.

Wales were leading 1 – 0 with less than quarter of an hour to go but eventually lost 3 – 1.

Their goalkeeper, Ivo Viktor, was outstanding on the night and pulled off many great saves. At the time, he was rated about the best in Europe and certainly lived up to the billing that night. I was standing behind the goals on the old bank that had railway sleepers that you stood on. Just before the referee blew the final whistle, an old man shouted to Viktor who turned around. The old man then managed to pick up a piece of one of the sleepers and huled it at the net shouting “You’ve saved everything tonight, see if you can save this?” Viktor looked at the old man and burst in to a smile.

Despite being just under 11 years old at the time, it’s stuck in my mind ever since and at least we had one good memory from the night!

By David Bevan

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Filed under 1970s, Hooliganism

Christmas and birthday Cards



Letter recalling receiving the 1969 card. Click to enlarge

1971 xmas card1

1971 club Christmas card

1971 xmas card 2

1971 club Christmas card


Birthday cards, sent to Chris Chapman in 1990s. Signed picture of player (Roger Freestone).


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Filed under 1970s, Unusual opponents

Swansea Town/City average league attendances


Year Average
1921       13,370
1922       11,685
1923       15,050
1924       14,870
1925       12,600
1926       16,118
1927       14,286
1928       12,153
1929       11,201
1930       12,101
1931       10,506
1932         9,756
1933         9,566
1934         8,204
1935         8,332
1936         8,966
1937         9,880
1938       12,015
1939       10,843
1947       21,039
1948       17,858
1949       22,535
1950       21,571
1951       19,398
1952       18,228
1953       20,469
1954       17,197
1955       21,052
1956       19,487
1957       16,585
1958       15,711
1959       14,612
1960       14,355
1961       12,084
1962       12,174
1963       10,365
1964       10,911
1965       10,467
1966         7,694
1967         6,390
1968         5,855
1969         5,664
1970         8,406
1971         8,034
1972         6,412
1973         3,104
1974         2,815
1975         2,070
1976         2,932
1977         5,311
1978         8,108
1979       13,746
1980       14,391
1981       13,143
1982       18,226
1983       11,704
1984         6,980
1985         4,421
1986         4,306
1987         5,169
1988         4,471
1989         4,897
1990         4,223
1991         3,665
1992         3,367
1993         5,199
1994         3,534
1995         3,582
1996         2,996
1997         3,850
1998         3,443
1999         5,225
2000         5,895
2001         4,913
2002         3,690
2003         5,160
2004         6,853
2005         8,458
2006       14,112
2007       12,720
2008       13,520
2009       15,187
2010       15,407
2011       15,507
2012       19,946
2013       20,370
2014       20,407
2015       20,555
2016       20,711
2017       20,619

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Filed under 1910s, 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, club, fans

A look at Swansea City 1978 (from a Watford programme)

From Watford v Swansea City match programme, 9 September 1978

Click on the image to enlarge it.


Filed under 1970s, players

Cardiff City: friend or foe?

We have now had several hundred surveys filled in or returned to us.  Thanks to those who have taken the time to complete the form, even though it does take some time.  Your memories are invaluable to a project such as this and they will be preserved on the site.

One very interesting thing emerging from the surveys is that during the 1950s and 1960s significant numbers of fans from Merthyr, Treorchy, Treherbert, and Aberdare watched the Swans one week and Cardiff City the next.  [In fact, and this might come as a surprise or shock to some, I know a couple of people who still attend the home games of both Cardiff and the Swans.  Between games they receive counselling]  When the two clubs played one another during the 1940s and 1950s, supporters mingled quite freely, and on the North Bank at the Vetch the Bluebirds fans congregated at the ‘town end’.  Although banter and only the occasional left hook was exchanged between the different sets of supporters, there was no full-scale violence of the type that became common place later.

It is possible to date very precisely when ‘aggro’ began to occur between fans of the Swans and Cardiff.  This happened on a large scale in Welsh Cup ties in 1968-9 and 1969-70 when trains and coaches were trashed and full-scale fighting broke out for the first time.  This set a pattern of heightened tension which continues to this day, even though there have been long periods when the two clubs have not actually played one another.  So a couple of questions:

1.  Do you have fathers or grandfathers who used to go to both Ninian Park and the Vetch?

2.  When, if at all, did you first experience violence at Cardiff- Swans games?

Let us know, and tell us your stories.

Some replies from Twitter:

smalclacene: “Thought my dad was only man to have held SCFC and CCFC STs. Then my neighbor admitted the same. Valleys boys, see: confused.”

Steven Carroll: “I’ve heard of someone who’s had seasons for both. Can’t understand it personally.”

There are some more articles about the rivalry here.


Filed under 1940s, 1950s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, fans, Hooliganism, vetch

Unusual opponents (1): Accra Hearts of Oak 1970

The Swans played Accra Hearts of Oak from Ghana in a pre-season friendly at the Vetch on 11 August 1970.  Having just been promoted to Division 3 under manager Roy Bentley, the Swans played the African side who were touring Britain where they played seven fixtures.  Hearts of Oak had already let in fifteen goals in games against Southend and Barnsley so Swans fans among the 4,008 crowd were expecting a goal-feast.  But it was not to be.  The Swans, who were still reeling from Mel Nurse’s sudden retirement (it did not last long!), but who had recently signed Barrie Hole from Aston Villa for £20,000, won 2-0 with goals from Herbie Williams.  The team that day was Millington, Slee, Gomersall, Williams (Alan), Hill, Hole, Allchurch (Len), Thomas, Williams (Herbie), Cotton, Evans.  The subs who played for the second half in place of Cotton and Allchurch were Willie Screen and Slattery.

I remember watching the game from the East Terrace and watching the Africans provided what was probably the most exotic experience in my life up to that point.  But I can’t remember many details, such as what colours they played in.  I have a hunch that it was some sort of Zebra-like black and white zig-zags, but this is probably my imagination running away with itself as can be seen from the history of the club on the Hearts of Oak website

Was there a programme for the game?  If so, has anyone got one that we can borrow so that we can digitise it?


Filed under 1970s, Unusual opponents

Roy Evans and Brian Purcell RIP

Forty-three years ago today, two former Swans players Roy Evans and Brian Purcell were killed in a car crash on the Heads of the Valley road while en route to a game for their club Hereford United.

Read an appreciation of Roy and Brian on a Hereford site

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Filed under 1970s, players