It was the game that saw the birth of Swansea Town – and now you can read all about that famous match.
On September 7, 1912, Swansea Town held its first professional game against Cardiff City at the Vetch with the game ending in a 1-1 draw.
To read the match report from the match, click HERE
To mark the occasion, the Swans 100 project, based in Swansea University’s history department, is opening up its archive from that very first game, including the programme, match reports and pictures, shedding light on the birth of the club, and on the start of a long rivalry with their neighbours to the east.
There are plenty of interesting facts too, such as:
- The game was played at the Vetch Field on Saturday 7 September 1912, just a few months after the sinking of the Titanic.
- The result was a 1-1 draw, with Billy Ball scoring for Swansea, before skipper Jack Burton equalised for Cardiff.
- The match programme cost one penny, and advertised pubs, printers and opticians, as well as explaining the offside rule!
Press reports of the game revealed that some things have changed since those days:
- Swansea were called “the Town” or “Swanseaites” while Cardiff are “the Citizens”. The nicknames Swans and Bluebirds came later.
- A report gave the official “gate takings” as £153, each of whom paid 3d, with boys going free!
Phil Bethell from the Swans 100 project team said: “The Swans’ story truly began on the 7th September 1912. Not only the beginning of professional football in the city, but also of a century-long soccer rivalry with Cardiff, as passionate as any other derby in the game. It is a genuinely important anniversary in the history of Swansea, especially at a time when the all-white strip is being worn with such panache.
"That first season in the Southern League went really well, and as the Daily Post put it, 'Swansea should soon become a side that the town can be proud of'. That is certainly true 100 years down the line!”
Access the archive via The Swans 100 project HERE