The Swans played an away game at Bury FC in November 1936. We haven’t yet seen the newspaper match report, but it seems clear that Bury had a robust approach to tackling – two Swansea players required treatment from the Bury team doctor. This was common practice – the home team would provide medical cover for visiting players.
We can only assume that the trainer was incensed at the way in which his players had received their injuries. Anyway, as the first letter from Bury made clear, the good doctor was not amused….
This letter, actually a fairly mild complaint about discourteous language, was accompanied by a note from the doctor:
Alas, diplomacy deserted the Swans’ management, and legendary club secretary S.B.Williams responded in robust fashion. He was clearly having none of it…
It does seem like a bit of a nuclear reaction – after all, Bury were only asking for a bit of decorum. Their reply came as follows:
Talk about storms in teacups. How the matter ended we don’t know, that was as much of the correspondence as we have seen.
Williams had been more than happy to do business with Bury before the start of the season, when Jack Firth was sold to the Gigg Lane club for £800:
Here is the receipt:
And of course the two teams got on with playing each other in the league. The return fixture in March 1937 saw the Swans win 2-0 to avenge their defeat at Bury by the same scoreline. And S.B.W. was happy to hand over the share of the gate, without (as far as we know) any reference to the previous year’s shocking behaviour.
All of these fascinating documents are in Gwyn Rees’ collection, and thanks to him for letting us scan them.