It could be Toshack or Charles, or even rhubarb and custard boiled sweets!
Fans’ memories of their first ever Swansea City game, gathered over the past few months as part of the Swans 100 project, are being released to mark the Swans’ stunning victory over QPR in their first game of the centenary season.
Fans’ memories of their first game are just one part of a wider collection of memories of the Swans, collected by the Swans 100 team. They’ve been out and about across the city and the wider region, holding events and open days, talking to fans, and gathering memories and memorabilia.
The project, based in Swansea University history department, has also involved the Swans Supporters’ Trust, with funding from the Lottery. All the memories are captured in a new colour souvenir book, “Swansea ‘til I Die – a century of supporting the Swans”.
The earliest memory of a first game recorded by the team is from John Conibear, aged 89.
He said: “My first visits in 1924-5 were as a babe-in-arms. My first conscious memory of the Vetch Field I have been able to establish was on Thursday, March 11, 1926 (…) I knew our side wore white – all except one who wore a red jersey.
“In my memory on that fateful day he took off his red jersey and handed it to one of the others. The match was against Sheffield Wednesday and what I had seen was the goalkeeper Jack Denoon sent off – the first Swans’ player to be sent off in a Football League match.”
Lots of fans told the research team how their first game started a lifelong love affair with the Swans.
“I was 11 years old. I didn’t see a player or a blade of grass, only the ball when it went in the air. But I was hooked and I have been a supporter ever since.”
Eileen Morgan (77)
“1959, Man Utd – 25,000 attendance. Played like a cup tie. United won 6-4. Mel Charles scored all for Swans. Been a Jack ever since.“
Alun Davies (67)
“Chesterfield 1979? Toshack scoring with a header. The place going mental. I’m convinced it’s that atmosphere that got me hooked as a seven-year-old.”
Gareth Morgan (39)
“One of the striking things the team discovered is that memories of the first game are not always about the football! Rochdale, 1974 - poured with rain. My scarf was soaking. Dad and I both caught a cold. Just remember the floodlights and the smells.
Tudor, Swans fan
“My only memories of the game are that it was midweek, we sat in the East Upper and were eating Rhubarb and Custard boiled sweets”
“Hartlepool, 1978. We won 8-0. I played football with a coke can up against the front wall of the North Bank. The game passed me by though – I was only six.”
Wayne Davies (40)
Phil Bethell is from the Swans 100 project, based in Swansea University history department. He said: "The project has brought together stories and memories from Swans' fans from eight to 80-years-old.
“It has been a pleasure to talk to people and read the stuff they have sent in. It makes you realise how much passion there is for the football club, and how the supporters have kept it going through the dark days when things were definitely not Premier League.
Swansea City's current high-flying position is a tribute to all the fans that put their energy and their money behind the players and the management over the last hundred years. Here's to the next century of the Swans."
Swansea ‘til I die – a century of supporting the Swans - a 191-page colour hardback souvenir book, written by fans, for fans. It captures fans’ memories gathered by the Swans 100 team, along with photographs, posters and news articles from the the archive.
Published by Swansea City Supporters Trust, as part of the Swans 100 project, based at Swansea University.
Available from the Club Shop at the Liberty, and on-line from www.swanssuperstore.com priced £15.99.