Tribute To A Legend

Tuesday, 18 September 2001, 0:00
3 mins read
Last week saw the end of an era as far as Swansea City Football Club goes. And with it we saw a true Swansea legend walk through the Vetch Field doors. For the last time? We hope not, I would personally welcome Alan Curtis back at the Vetch as I am sure, as the saying goes, that if you opened him up he would be black and white through the middle.
Alan Curtis is the nephew of former Swansea, Man City and Wales international Roy Paul. His first appearance in the white shirt of the Swans came at the end of the 1972-73 season.
He quickly established himself as a crowd favourite and scored goals by the plenty as Harry Griffiths laid the foundations that were turned into the Glory years. Curt was one of two players (the late Robbie James) being the other who notched league hat-tricks in what still stands as Swansea’s biggest league win, 8-0 against Hartlepool in 1978.
However, in May 1979 he left Swansea for Elland Road and the bright lights of Leeds United. £350,000 was paid into the Swansea account for the services of Curt and a firm favourite left as Swansea were climbing up the divisons. But it was not to be a long exit as 18 months later and he was back, and for less than half the cost. His time at Leeds was not a happy one with injuries and poor form meaning he could never establish himself.

In Action For Southampton

And it was fitting that he was back to play his part in the greatest day in the club’s history. On May 2 1981, at Deepdale in Preston, Curt took his place in the Swansea team that secured promotion to the top flight for the first, and to date only, time in their history. He was ready to achieve the notable feat of playing in a Swansea shirt in all four divisions of the football league.

Three months later, Curt scored the 5th and final goal as Swansea announced their impact on the first division with a resounding hammering of his former club Leeds United in a season where they were eventually to finish in 6th place.

But sour times were around the corner for Swansea – relegation from the top flight and subsequent money worries led to Curt being sold again, this time to Southampton for £85,000.
But again, life was not that easy outside of Swansea for Alan and after a loan spell at Stoke he returned to South Wales again, but this time with Cardiff City. It was at the Vetch that Curt scored a winning goal for Cardiff in the Welsh Cup Final against Wrexham and the pain on Swansea fans faces could be seen as one of their favourite sons was scoring for their nearest Rivals.
But there was one final homecoming as he returned to the Vetch for a final time in October 1989. It was to be his final season playing at football league level but Curt still had it to offer and it was the prodigal son coming home.
After retiring from the game, Curt had a brief spell as player-coach at Barry before joining Haverfordwest County in 1991.

Back at the Vetch, he was appointed Football in the Community Officer when the post first started in September 1991. After three years he became a part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Open Award Centre at the Vetch and was Instructor of the Physical Recreation Section. He managed the Youth team in 1997/98 and his side finished at the top of the MacWhirter League.

After Mickey Adams left the Vetch in October 1997, Alan became the First Team Coach for Alan Cork’s team. When Cork left at the end of the season Alan was appointed Assistant Manager to John Hollins.
Although a Swansea legend, Curt was dismissed along with Hollins to make way for Colin Addison and Peter Nicholas although many believe that a job could have been found for him.
Curt was a gentleman at the end of his spell at the Vetch and took the news of his dismissal with the dignity that we have grown to expect from the man.
The word legend is branded about lightly these days but Alan Curtis was exactly that and I for one will never forget him. Thanks for all the good times Alan and it’s sad that it had to end the way it did. I am sure I am not alone in wishing him all the very best for the future.

Thenks To Nigel Saunders For Some Additional Information

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