Known as both The Jacks and The Swans, one of the two major Welsh sides to have competed in the English Premier League is Swansea City FC and they’ve done so with the reputation of a club that always produces very fine football indeed.
History of Swansea City FC
As a confirmed rugby area, Swansea didn’t have a professional football club at the turn of the 1900s until Swansea Town AFC was formed in 1912.
Following on from other Welsh teams, Swansea joined the Southern League Second Division, moved to the Vetch Field and began their progression. After the War Swansea played Third Division football and began to move up, eventually winning the Second Division.
Things were steady for the club right up to 1965, but their downward spiral saw them reach the bottom of the league pyramid in 1977. They rose quickly from that point, before falling yet again without ever settling at one level.
Having gained promotion to the modern Premier League in 2011, a golden age began and a trophy followed, however, relegation was once again suffered to what is now the Championship in England.
Along with many other clubs in the modern era, Swansea City FC felt it was necessary to move to a new purpose-built stadium and so in 2005 the Liberty Stadium opened for business.
Before that Swansea played their home games at the Vetch Field, an old school football ground which opened in 1912. At its peak, the Vetch had a capacity of 30,000 (12,000 latterly) and was used not only by Swansea City but also the Welsh national team on many occasions as well as rugby league matches and high-profile boxing bouts.
In July of 2005, the Liberty Stadium was opened and hosted a friendly match between Swansea City and Fulham. The new arena immediately counted not just The Swans but also rugby side Ospreys as permanent tenants.
In October 2005 the club unveiled a statue of iconic former player Ivor Allchurch outside the brand new stadium. The first sell-out here occurred one year later in 2006. However, not for a Swans game but rather an Ospreys match as they beat Australia A.
While the Liberty Stadium was being built, the working title in effect was the White Rock Stadium. The name was based on the copper works which was situated on the same site in years gone by.
Upon completion of the stadium, however, it was decided naming rights would be sold and so with Liberty Properties having gained the contract, the Liberty Stadium as we know it was born. In European matches, this ground has to be known as the Swansea Stadium.
Capacity is just 21,088 and the stadium project cost £27million in total to complete.
Famous Swansea City Players
Whether it’s due to short memories, the glamour of the Premier League or the fact that this club has genuinely improved over the years, many of those voted as Swansea’s greatest ever players have come in the modern era.
Names such as Ashley Williams, Leon Britton, Joe Allen, Wilfried Bony, Angel Rangel and Gylfi Sigurdsson simply roll off the tongue for sure.
However, stretched over a much longer period, a long list of players have contributed hugely to the club’s success over the years and deserve their titles as club legends.
Notable names include:
- Lee Trundle
- Ivor Allchurch
- Alan Curtis
- Garry Monk
- Robbie James
- Alan Waddle
- Roberto Martinez
- Mel Charles
- Chris Coleman
- Roger Freestone
- Andy Robinson
- Herbie Williams
- Cliff Jones
Swansea Club Honours
As a Welsh club playing in English football, alongside Cardiff City among other clubs, Swansea has had some limited success in the league but achieved their most notably trophy win by taking the League Cup at Wembley in 2013, beating Bradford 5-0 in the final.
As a lower league club, Swansea took the Football League Trophy on two occasions, winning in both 1994 and 2006.
In terms of league success, not counting that the club achieved some notable results in the Premier League under various managers, their title successes have come at lower levels.
Swansea won the English third tier in 1925, 1949 and 2008 as well as the Championship play-off final in 2011 en route to the Premier League. They also won the fourth-tier title in 2000.
When still competing in the Welsh Cup alongside the English domestic competitions, The Swans managed to win the tournament in 1913, 1932, 1950, 1961, 1966, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1989 and 1991.
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