The area around Swansea has been traditionally rugby focussed, and early attempts at forming a football team by Swansea Villa failed. The Swansea Gas Light company owned a field on which a cabbage- like plant called vetch grew wild. The company had been leasing this site to the emerging Swansea football league and from this Swansea Town Football Club evolved and was officially formed in 1912. The new club became the official residents of the site.
They joined the Southern League in the following year, but also participated in both the FA and Welsh Cups. Eventually they were founder members of the English Third Division in 1920 and became known as Swansea City in 1969.
Cups and League Titles
After becoming league members, Swansea existence was fairly unremarkable. They drifted between the Second, Third and Fourth Divisions, but most of their success has arrived via the Welsh Cup, winning on 10 occasions, ensuring several exploits in Europe.
When John Toshack was installed as manager in 1978, Swansea were struggling at the foot of the Fourth Division. By 1981 they had secured promotion to the First Division after a stunning rise through the leagues. The success could not be sustained and by 1986 an equally meteoric decline resulted in Swansea returning to the Fourth Division.
Swansea have yet to win a major domestic honour, and finally returned to the top tier of English football last season after many seasons in the lower leagues.
- League 1/ Third Division ( Level 3 ) (3)
1925, 1949, 2008
- Third Division ( Level 4 ) (1)
- Welsh Cup (10)
1913, 1932, 1950, 1961, 1966, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1989, 1991
When Swansea Town formed they used the Vetch Field, which could house 1,500 spectators. The surface left much to be desired and the players wore knee pads for the first season. The ground underwent numerous piecemeal changes over the years, but the entire structure began to deteriorate in the 1990’s.
Eventually, the decision was taken to relocate rather than redevelop the ground and in 2005 the new Liberty Stadium was opened. Sharing the ground with rugby team the Ospreys, the capacity at the venue is 20,500.
- Ivor Allchurch
He was known as the ‘Golden Boy of Welsh Football’ and regarded as Swansea’s finest post war player. In 11 seasons he made 327 appearances for the club.
- Robbie James
He scored 115 goals in 484 league appearances and was a vital member of the John Toshack team.
- Alan Curtis
He was an influencial striker during John Toshack’s successful reign as manager, and had three spells as a player.
- Herbie Williams
He was a Swansea stalwart, making 513 league appearances in his 17 years as a one club player.
- Harry Griffiths
In the post war era he only ever played for Swansea during a 15 year career amassing 422 league appearances.
- Roger Freestone
He was long serving goalkeeper making 549 league appearances in 13 seasons, once keeping 22 clean sheets in a season.
Other Interesting Facts
- During the 1995/96 season manager Keith Cullis lasted only 6 days in the job, and was ejected from the dressing room by the players at half-time.
- In 1995, goalkeeper Roger Freestone became the club’s regular penalty taker with a 100% record from 3 spot kicks.
- Wilfred Milne was signed from Newcastle junior side Walker Central for the price of a fish supper and a cup of tea. He now holds the club record for most league appearances.