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Swansea City AFC
Swansea City AFC
Read more about this showcase item here...The area around Swansea traditionally had been a rugby area, and despite previous attempts by a football club named Swansea Villa, there were no notable football clubs until the establishment of Swansea Town AFC in the summer of 1912. Following the lead of many other South Wales sides, joined the second division of the Southern League for the following season. J. W. Thorpe was the club's first chairman. A site owned by Swansea Gaslight Co., called Vetch Field due to the vegetables that grew there, was rented to be the club's ground.
The club's first professional match was a 1–1 draw at the Vetch Field against Cardiff City on 7 September 1912. During that first season the Welsh Cup was won for the first time, and the following season the Swans became the first side to reach the First Round of the Blackburn Rovers were the first First Division side to the visit Vetch Field for a competitive game in the 1914–1915 FA Cup – Blackburn Rovers were then the Champions of England, but Swansea Town from the Second Division of the Southern League beat them 1–0 at Vetch Field, Swansea's goal coming from Ben Beynon, while Blackburn Rovers' penalty taker Bradshaw missed a penalty. Before the game Bradshaw had scored with thirty-six consecutive spot kicks. Remarkably, the Swans played most of the second half with ten men and the final 15 minutes with just nine men as two players were forced to retire through injury. The Swans drew at another First Division side, Newcastle United, in the next round, before losing narrowly in the replay.
Following the First World War the Southern League dropped its second division, and with many clubs dropping out due to financial difficulties, the Swans were placed in the first division. After just four seasons in the Southern League, Swansea Town became founder members of the new Third Division of The Football League in 1920 and then Division Three (South) the following season.
After five seasons in Division Three (South) and a few failed bids for promotion, the Swans reached the Second Division for the first time in 1925, beating Exeter City 2–1 at home on the final day of the season to beat perennial runners-up Plymouth Argyle to the Championship. The side had remained unbeaten at home in the league all season – something the next promotion team would emulate over twenty years later. The following season the Swans reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup for the first time, beating Exeter City, Watford, Blackpool, Stoke City,...