Great Players

Tuesday, 26 March 2002, 0:00
3 mins read

Home > Story Index >Great Players of Swansea Past

My first memory of the Swans must be mid 50s, I was living away, as a child. It was difficult to get any information on Swansea city football except the results on the radio. So imagine my excitement when Terry Medwin, and Cliff Jones left the swans (went to Tottenham) and I discovered my mother had been in school with them. From then on I started following their careers. After looking at the great players this club has had I thought I would only mention those players who were great while playing for the Swans, not others, (like Dean Saunders) who went on to better themselves for other teams. Putting these great players into any sort of category was almost impossible but I did try. So here goes.

Goal scorers From Jack fowler scored 28 goals1924/5, Cyril Pearce scored 35 goals1931/2 (And no I can’t remember them) Alan Curtis 32 goals 1977/8 (all leading divisional goal scorers) To the great Ivor Allchurch with 166 goals in 446 league appearances.

All these great men are part of our clubs great history, but for me the best was the late, great Robbie James. When I was a young man I remember being in Singleton Park with some friends and a group of boys asked us to play football. I was not bad at defence and played for a local team and agreed. Imagine my embarrassment as a little kid of 13 ran rings round me. I tried chopping him (I was good at that) but he just moved out of my way and I looked the fool. As you may have guessed that kid was Robbie James, he became my idol. Unfortunately Robbie died young but my memories of him will last a lifetime.

Team Captains There have been many team captains over the years from Jack Nicholas (1913) to Kristian O’Leary. For me the best was Corny, not the best midfielder we ever had but he was a real workhorse. I remember the game against York (at the Vetch) Corny kicked the ball up field (from near the corner flag) straight to leggy who controlled the ball and passed it forward to corny how he ever got to the edge of the penalty box so quickly we will never know. As a captain Corny took control and lead by example. The best I felt that ever was until recently. Nick Cusack has really impressed me throughout this season, his behaviour has been an inspiration to the younger players and I hope this carries on in his managerial role. I’m sure we all wish him good luck.

Midfield There have been a multitude of good midfield players at the vetch, From Nick and Corny to even the great Ian Callaghan (joining Swansea in1978 he played 76 games only scoring once) but the best prospect I feel has got to be Mumford. A great up and coming player. I believe his dead ball ability is improving all the time. (Well-done Andrew keep it up)

Defenders We have had some of the best defenders over the years Mel Nurse to mention but one but to my mind Tommy Smith the Hard man of football takes some beating. A recent TV autobiographical programme commented that if he was beaten would give the forward a dig and whisper to him (do that again and I break you legs), which had the effect of making the forward hesitate which gave Tommy the break he needed. He was shown as a man who would go to hell and back for his love of the game. More recently Smudger (it has been said) will run though a brick wall for the team he good at seeing problem in advance and I for one welcome him back even if it on the bench for the moment.

Goalkeepers Well to everyone’s eyes there is only one and it’s got to be Roger, back in the 50s John King was as well thought of as Roger is today, King played 14 season for the swans (368 appearances). There are some fine keepers I think deserve a mention. Dai Davies and Noel Dwyer to mention but two Who would you consider to be the best players? (In the categories listed.) Do you agree with me or not? And whom out of all the players we have ever had would you pick for your dream team would roger still be in goal? Let me know. I love to receive feedback. Maybe there’s someone I’ve forgotten or not given credit to. Your (positive or negative) views will be appreciated. Dave H

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