When you are in the company of legends

Tuesday, 22 September 2020, 12:00
1 min read

I have been fortunate enough over the years to have hosted and introduced many things at the Liberty Stadium due to my tenure as Chair of the Supporters Trust but none of them will ever top the day that popped up on my Facebook memory timeline this morning.

I remember hosting the unveiling of the World War I memorial plaque that sits on the wall of the club shop and the unveiling of the Robbie James bust was another day that will live long in my memory having worked so closely with the family to make it happen.

And it was from that fundraising that the idea of the Robbie James wall of fame was created.  The idea was a simple one, it was to honour 100 people that had made an impact on the history of Swansea City.  Not the 100 people with the most appearances, or the 100 people with the most goals but people who had somehow made a big impact on the club.

The 100 people were not to be inducted into the gallery in any particular order and right now you would clearly be able to argue that we could add many more names into the gallery given the club’s years in the Premier League which certainly weren’t foreseen when the ideal was created.

But it was on this day in 2012 that I found myself totally humbled to be standing outside the ticket office surrounded by legends of this club after three years of planning to get to this stage.  The full list of 20 names that year to be inducted were Jack Fowler, Roger Freestone, Bob Latchford, Mel Nurse, Herbie Williams, Alan Curtis, Cyril Pearce, Harry Griffiths, Ivor Allchurch, James Thomas, Nick Cusack, Brian Evans, Keith Walker, John Toshack, Wilf Milne, Lee Trundle, Wyndham Evans, Dudley Lewis, Len Thompson and John Cornforth.

A short introduction to the concept was followed by the official unveiling by Esme Allchurch and Gwen Griffiths, both of whom have played their own part in the success of this football club over the years and not just because of their husbands own contribution.

And when you see so many of those legends lining up next to the wall you realise that an ideal conceived several years before is absolutely the right one and your memory drifts back to time spent watching several of them play and appreciating what those you didn’t see play did for the football club.

As a club we are lucky to have such a strong history littered with so many talented players and people honoured to have been able to play the game to the levels that they did.  Look at the names above and the faces below and know that these guys are legends and memories should be cherished.

To all the names on the Wall of fame, thank you for what you did for Swansea City and the tribute shows that will never be forgotten.

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

Phil Sumbler

Been watching the Swans since the very late 1970s and running the Planet Swans website (in all its current and previous guises since the summer of 2001 As it stood JackArmy.net was right at the forefront of some of the activity against Tony Petty back in 2001, breaking many of the stories of the day as fans stood against the actions where the local media failed. Was involved with the Swans Supporters Trust from 2005, for the large part as Chairman before standing down in the summer of 2020.

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