“Once A Jack, Always A Jack”

From Jackmail 4 (Jan/Feb 1993)

I have supported Swansea for ten years now, writes Steve Scott, although unfortunately I have only managed to visit the Vetch Field on one occasion, the Easter Monday Division Three clash with Cardiff on the 31st of March 1986 in which the lads won by two goals to nil.

I started following the club’s fortunes for major reasons, I didn’t want to have an English ‘second’ team like most of my mates and I could draw parallel’s with my favourite team Clydebank and Swansea. The ‘Swans’ three year rise to fame from the Fourth Division in 1978 to the First Division for the first time in 1981 was very similar to Clydebank gaining promotion from the Second Division as champions in 1976, then finishing runners-up in the First Division in 1977 and thus gaining a place for the first time in the ten club Premier Division. The two clubs went about trying to keep their new found elite status in different ways,Swanseaspending big and attracting star names such as Bob Latchford and Ray Kennedy to South Wales, whilst Hankies immediately after promotion sold their best player of the era Davie Cooper to Rangers.

Both sides stay in the top league were brief with Swansea after the initial sixth place finish ended up six years later back from whence they came in Division Four, whilst Clydebank were relegated after one season, however they fought back and regained top flight status in 1985, only to now be back in the First Division and looking only to have consolidated their position there. It is debatable as to which club got it right as Clydebank due to supremo Jack Steedman’s policy of nearly always selling our best players have always been on a sure financial footing, where as no-one with the ‘Swans’ at heart doesn’t know how close the club went to going out of business in late 1985 and the club is still striving to find a way to get further up the Football League.

My main opportunities of watching the ‘Swans’ have come when they come up to Scotland to play pre-season friendlies and I have seen the club in action at Ibrox, Firhill (Partick Thistle), Stark’s Park (Raith Rovers) and against Ayr United at Somerset where Christian McClean scored in the first minute and John Williams in the last five to seal a two-one victory, the only win unfortunately of the Scottish Tour.In recent times, some of the boys on our supporters’ bus have struck up a friendship with some Rhondda Cardiff supporters and they have come up to Scotland on a few occasions to see Clydebank and they have gone down to see the ‘Bluebirds’  (there’s no accounting for taste).  Most of the said gentlemen have tried to persuade me that I am following the wrong Welsh team and despite the abuse, as I have said in the title of this article ‘Once a Jack, Always a Jack’. After all, as I say to them, who are Wales’ highest ranked team, certainly not Cardiff! Up the Swans.

One response to ““Once A Jack, Always A Jack”

  1. T5Swan

    From a Scotsman to an Englishman (contain yourselves)…I started follwing the Swans fifteen odd years ago after meeting a fabulous lady from the area. My first game was Cambridge Utd away on a glorious August saturday afternoon, I loved the passion of the supporters and the fact that I wasn’t watching the overpaid stars. I fell in love again. I was based in Bedfordshire and went to see the Swans around the London and Home Counties area. I travelled to The Vetch on a few occasions and was there when we clinched promotion with a win over Exeter City.
    The relationship with the fab girl fizzled out but my love for the Swans has continued and since moving to Torquay I have been to as many games as I can including being locked out for a few.
    When The Swans moved to The liberty my attendance increased and I have been happy to see about 15 games a season. After seeing our rise through the divisions I am now happy to be a Premier league team season ticket holder on the West Stand taking up the Early Bird offer when we were still deciding whether we wanted to go up. I had the belief and am honoured to make the 340 mile round trip on scooter to take my seat.
    I have been a Trust member for 8 years and a member of the 1912 Foundation. I don’t think you can question my commitment to The Swans.
    I am definitely a Jack for life despite every game being an away game.
    Here’s to another 100 years plus in the Premiership.

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