Not Quite A Last Goodbye

Thursday, 28 April 2005, 0:00
2 mins read

For months I have billed the Shrewsbury game as the last game ever at the Vetch. That title was taken away from the game when the FAW decided they wanted a piece of the action and ensured that the Mickey Mouse cup was the last game the Swans would play at the end of the era.

And now, here we are with 48 hours to go knowing full well that we could have one more full house at the Vetch. Hence why I am feeling a little anti climatic at this moment in time!

I always imagined that the days leading up to the ‘last game’ would see me filled with a hinge of sadness but excitement at what lay around the corner but I have to confess that I don’t. I have spent many hundreds, maybe even thousands of hours at the Vetch Field watching the Swans but I haven’t got that feeling that I expected to have of sadness knowing that there was just a few hours left at best.

Maybe it’s the surreal element of the situation that is making me feel like that. Knowing that no matter what I say I shall take my place for the FAW Final and knowing that one screw up for us will see one more game at the Vetch in terms of a play off semi final.

Or maybe it’s the fact that the future fills me with more excitement then I have sadness at leaving the ground behind. I know for a fact I cannot wait to take my seat at White Rock. Modern stadia have a slight fascination for me and I have watched games in places like Pride Park, The Reebok Stadium and others and thought these are arenas in which football should be played.

Don’t get me wrong – the Vetch holds endless memories for me but the new stadium is what we need if we are to progress fully as a club.

This afternoon, I was interviewed by Real Radio for my thoughts on leaving the Vetch and it got me thinking. There were two questions asked – the high moment and the low moment of my time at the Vetch. For me the low moment was easy, going 2-1 down against Hull was the lowest I have ever felt as a Swans fan – that was really it for me, I thought we were heading toward the conference. The high moment was tougher. There have been so many but I had to pick the win over Liverpool in the first season in Division One. Liverpool were Europe’s best and we outplayed them and beat them – something that most on the continent found almost impossible. Running that close was the Leeds game and some great cup nights.

But that aside they are just memories. Things I will keep with me for the rest of my life but I remember them because of the team. And the team will be a common denominator at the new ground. Somewhere in the future are new memories, memories that I will also carry with me through my life. And there will be new heroes. Curt and Robbie are my all time heroes from my time in watching the Swans but there will be new ones in the future.

And maybe thoughts like that are why I am not as sad as I expected to be leaving the Vetch Field. It’s been a great place and I probably will never forget it but I am so excited at what the future holds and having had four trips into White Rock, I stand in awe of the place every time. I really cannot wait for August and that is why Saturday is not so much another game but the beginning of a new chapter to me rather than the end of an old one.

Will I shed a tear though when it is all finished there? Ask me when it’d done!

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Images courtesy of Getty Images, Athena Picture Agency and Swansea City Football Club.
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