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Derby days revisited : Swansea City 4 Cardiff City 1 : Division Two, 7th March 1995
Wednesday, 17th Mar 2021 16:51 by Keith Haynes and David Cornish

It’s the run up to the most hotly contested game in Welsh football. Some would say on par with the biggest derby games in Europe, that’s not the debate. In this series on Swansea Independent we look at those games that actually defines the fixture. We start off with the battering Cardiff City took on a snow bound night in west Wales. When the swans dealt a huge blow to the inflated egos of Cardiff City. A night to remember.

Remember Ceefax ? It’s a bit of history, not sure they had that in 1927, or television even, below is just a screenshot, below that is a snapshot, after that it’s the fans spot

Ceefax reported -
A stunning start saw Frank Burrows’ side claim an emphatic derby victory at a jubilant and snowy Vetch Field. The outcome was all but decided with less than 20 minutes on the clock amidst the unseasonal snowfall as Swansea surged into a three-goal lead. John Williams opened the scoring, with David Penney and Colin Pascoe soon following the striker onto the scoresheet. The score remained the same until the closing minutes, with substitute Shaun Chappell making it 4-0, before Nathan Wigg got a late consolation for Cardiff.

Frankie, do you remember me ?

The game was played without away fans due to the riot instigated by Swansea fans at Ninian Park in December 1993. Odd for us to grasp really after years of running battles in Swansea. Soon as the tables dramatically turned the Cardiff run Welsh FA banned away supporters. Not that it mattered on the pitch but it did display to many Swans fans the total inequality at the time between the two clubs. Had the Welsh FA taken note as the rivalry intensified during the late 80’s with swans fans travelling in their thousands to Ninian Park, had they carefully considered the implications of their biased views in favour of Cardiff much of this would have maybe not occurred. However, it did, and to see their capital city ripped apart by Swansea City fans after years of doing nothing when the boot was on the other foot seriously undermined them as an organisation, and for me unfit at any level to administer the game.

Colin Pascoe relished the South Wales derby

The swans at the time were the Autoglass trophy holders - that season, after winning at Wembley, which became a thing the side did most of the time thereafter in crucial games. Frank Burrows assembled a side that was stylish and very much enjoyed the passing game Burrows tried to implement. It did work a lot of the time. Key players were admired like Jason Bowen, Andy Legg and John Cornforth, all snapped up by Birmingham City in time. It was a free flowing decent team assembled from the swans reserve sides and quality buys from small non league clubs. Jon Ford a prime example, Des Lyttle and John Williams other accucistions over time.

The fondly remembered Swansea City squad 1994/95 season

My recollections

Martin Evans - It was delirium, not only had we won a trophy at Wembley the previous year we were smashing Cardiff at home. I remember the bitter cold, people didn’t go because of the vast amounts of trouble that had occurred between the two sets of fans. I was in the Builders pub before the game, the police came in, one of them called us a few uncomplimentary rude words, another copper grabbed him by the back of the neck on their way out and said “ Not in our city you don’t” Then he pushed him nearly head first out of the door. That’s how intense the rivalry was and still is. Even the cops are fighting each other.

Martin Boston - What a great game that lot were never in it, not even close, we should have had a lot more than four though. But then I’m never happy. This was a time when Cardiff fans didn’t come near the Jacks, they didn’t even try their usual tactics of ganging up on a few jacks at railway stations, that riot certainly was a huge blot on their mythical copy book. In a way it helped, they were clearly terrified of the new generation of Jacks who were taking the rivalry straight back at them. I know it isn’t clever, but it made things safer for us as fans because we never again had that lot in our faces, they had learned a big lesson. David Penney that night tore them a new one, as did Colin Pascoe, we were unstoppable.

The flying postman, John Williams scored for the swans in this 4-1 victory

Sarah Thomas - I felt far safer after the riot at Ninian going to these games, at that time I went with my dad from Merthyr, the knuckleheads from there at the time were supporters of both sides, Cardiff mostly, obviously now not any more. We were sat in the centre stand, my dad liked the atmosphere in there, to our left all the swans noisy boys in the seats and then the hob nobs to our right. A nice mixture, plus we could get in to the Harry Griffiths bar before and after the game. The snow would maybe have caused a problem these days, but under the lights at the Vetch Field beating Cardiff was awesome, one of my favourite games before we went on the Premier League journey.

Personally for me I remember we had a mini bus up from Gloucester and due to our rather lengthy celebrations after the game yours truly was far too mashed to drive the bus. My old mate Dave from Cirencester at the time obliged, in drifting snow and a partially blocked M4 he got us home. It took a while, but my word who cares, well maybe Dave. He had never driven a mini bus before, what an introduction.

We will cover another game this week before the latest in the long history of this fixture recommences on Saturday.

Go on, add your views below or on our forums

Photo: Action Images

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