The Comeback Kings

30th April

Liverpool's recent Europa League win over Borussia Dortmund saw today's visitors being widely acclaimed as the Comeback Kings of Europe.

The Reds fought back from 2-0 and 3-1 down -with the away goals rule also against them - to finally triumph 4-3 and seal an improbable 5-4 aggregate win against manager Jurgen Klopp's former club.

In the wake of the thrilling victory at Anfield, the media was quick to remind everyone of the Reds' remarkable powers of recovery.

The club's most famous fightback also came in Europe during the continent's showpiece club match - the Champions League Final.

Three-nil down to AC Milan at half-time in Istanbul , Liverpool came back to draw level at full-time and went on to with the trophy on penalties.

But before we get too carried away with Liverpool's Lazarus-like qualities, the Swans are no strangers to rolling back the stone to live again in football terms.

For all Liverpool's many achievements on the continent and at home, have they ever achieved three goal turnarounds twice in the space of just four days?

Fair enough, these recoveries weren't made at the highest level of the game, but the fact they came in the old Third Division of the Football League made them no less impressive.

On September 12, 1978, Rotherham United were the visitors to Vetch Field, and the Yorkshire club raced into a 4-1 lead.

The morose mood in the ground wasn't improved by former Swans top scorer David Gwyther having plundered a hat-trick to put the visitors apparently out of sight.

But with embarrassing defeat facing the Swans side, the tables were remarkably turned.

At this point I should point out that there was a Liverpool influence on the Swans performance that night. As well as being managed by former Kop favourite John Toshack, the starting line-up included Alan Waddle and the Anfield Iron himself, Tommy Smith.

The Swans scorers, however, were very much home-grown in the shape of Swansea-born Jeremy Charles (2) along with Rhondda-raised current coach and all-time club legend Alan Curtis, who also landed a brace.

It was a case of deja-vu for Swans fans four days later when they found themselves back at the Vetch and trailing 1-3 to Tranmere Rovers!

There was an even stronger former Liverpool contingent in the Swans side that day with player-manager Toshack pulling on his boots alongside, Phil Boersma and Ian Callaghan who joined Waddle and Smith in the starting line-up.

This time the Swans went one better than they had a few nights earlier as they not only hauled back the deficit but managed to conjure up a winner to pinch the match 4-3.

Curtis and Charles were once again on the scoresheet, this time joined by full-back Danny Bartley and Waddle.

Just to show that the Swans could do comebacks without a large Liverpool contingent, they had staged an even more remarkable Vetch Field recovery the previous year against Stockport County.

Things were looking pretty bleak at half-time as the Swans were trailing 3-0, but they soon got even worse just after the break when the visitors added a fourth.

And that's the way things stayed until just 25 minutes from the end when the Swans finally managed to trouble the scorers.

In a 14 minute blast, goals from George Smith, Les Chappell, Eddie May and that man Curtis, levelled the scores at 4-4.

The last 10 minutes saw both sides frantically searching for a victory which appeared to have been sealed for the Swans in the last minute when May netted again . . . only to see the score ruled out and both sides settling for a point.

Being the eternal optimist that I am, when the Swans went 3-0 down to Leicester with half an hour to go last Sunday, I was starting to wonder whether they were going to make this article really topical!

No such luck, unfortunately, but it is one of the great joys of football that there have been enough unlikely fightbacks over the years that fans, like me last Sunday, will clutch onto that last straw of hope until the fat lady hits that first note.

 Imagine how Charlton Athletic fans must have felt when they welcomed Huddersfield Town back in 1957. They lost their captain Derek Ufton after just 17 minutes with a dislocated shoulder - a disaster in the days before substitutes.

All looked lost for the 10 men as they trailed 5-1 with less than half-an-hour to go. But somehow they mustered a magnificent recovery inspired by winger Johnny Summers, who scored five times in all as Charlton eventually ran out 7-6 (yes, seven-six!) victors with an in injury time winner.

Imagine if you were a Charlton fan who decided to head for the pub when Huddersfield had hit their fifth!

It just goes to show, that while there's still spirit in the players and supporters and enough time on the clock, there's always hope.

C'mon you Swans!