A Swansea City guide for Richmond Kickers fans
by Darryn Bushbye, July 18, 2017
Richmond Kickers take on Swansea City of the Premier League on July 19, and so we asked Admiral Group’s Swansea office to explain just what soccer means to the Welsh city.
Dylan Thomas the famous Welsh poet once called Swansea an “Ugly Lovely town”. As I write this blog I have Goosebumps on the back of my neck. I can’t fully explain in words why I agree with this quote, but I do. Swansea just has this rawness about it. Refreshingly open, honest and welcoming, you could call us a lovely bunch. But one thing has changed since that quote; we’re no longer a town but a thriving city and the second biggest in Wales.
Swansea sits on the glorious coastal bay alongside the famous Gower Peninsula. Swansea has many things to be proud of and we are very lucky to have so many beautiful beaches. Rhosilli, along with Three Cliffs, has won the best beach in Britain award and if you’ve ever been here you will understand the stunning surroundings I have been blessed with.
Another thing I am very proud of is our boys on the pitch; Swansea City has come truly alive these past couple of years. We became a football City in 1912 when Rugby was the heart and soul of Swansea, it was originally named Swansea Town AFC until 1969 when we renamed it Swansea City.
Swansea City or the Swansea Jacks as we are more affectionately known has had its up and downs over the years and we very nearly fell out of the football league. On the last day of the season on May 3rd, 2003 with the clubs future hanging in the balance the heroics of James Thomas and a hat-trick to boot in a 4-2 win over Hull City meant our league status was saved. Now this is where the fun started…
After many years fighting our way division by division which we finally had our big opportunity, this opportunity was no other than playing Reading in the famous Wembley Stadium in 2011. The whole of Swansea couldn’t stop talking about it and wouldn’t blame the footballers for feeling the pressure.
And it finally happened with once again with a game that matched the importance of 2003 but with a much greater reward in front of us. Bizarrely we won the game 4-2 with another star of the show scoring a hat-trick. This time, he went by the name of Scott Sinclair. Swansea City was promoted. I wasn’t lucky enough to be at Wembley when the final whistle went, but I hear that people in the stadium could feel the stadium moving when the welsh fans celebrated.
We had done it; we were now a Premier League team. Swansea City became the first Welsh team to play in the division since its formation in 1992, the whole of Swansea boomed with pride and we haven’t looked back since. I, being a proud Swans fan, feel the magic has rubbed off on the whole of Wales, seeing as we finally qualified for Euro 2016.
Wales have not reached major finals since we were beaten by Brazil in the last eight of the 1958 World Cup. But in the Euro 2016 we gallantly reached the Semi Finals with two Swansea City players scoring on route in defenders Neil Taylor and Swansea/Wales Captain Ashley Williams. I was lucky enough to be in Lyon Wednesday night, we tried and tried and fought with all our might but it wasn’t to be. I am so very proud to come from this great city. This is my club, my city, my pride!
Good luck to the Richmond Kickers and Swansea City when you play next.
By Darryn Bushbye
Darryn is a member of staff at Admiral Group’s Swansea office in Wales, and has been spending time at both Elephant’s Richmond and Dallas locations. He’s a proud Swansea City season ticket holder.