On This Day | Promotion at Preston
Swansea City secured promotion to the top flight of English football for the first time in their history with a 3-1 victory over Preston at Deepdale on May 2, 1981.
First-half goals from Leighton James and Tommy Craig sent the Swans on their way, before Jeremy Charles’ late strike sealed a third promotion in the space of just four years.
Having plied their trade in the Fourth Division just four years earlier, John Toshack’s side stood on the verge of completing a remarkable rise through the divisions and into the top tier for the first time.
Promotion would be sealed with a win at Preston, who also needed maximum points in order to avoid relegation to the third tier.
The Swans made a confident start to the contest with Craig prominent in midfield while Charles and Alan Curtis were causing problems for the home defence.
And the deadlock was broken in the 24th minute when Leighton James cut inside from the left wing before bending a wonderful effort beyond the goalkeeper.
The lead was doubled just three minutes later as Craig capitalised on confusion in the hosts’ penalty area to give the visitors breathing space.
Toshack’s men had one foot in the First Division, but Preston came back with a vengeance after the break and halved the deficit when Alex Bruce struck 20 minutes from time.
It made for a very anxious finale for the Swans, but they fought off the tide and broke on the counter in the dying seconds with a devastating move involving Robbie James and Curtis, before Charles smashed home to seal the deal.
Thirty-four years later, Jefferson Montero’s first Swansea goal helped Garry Monk’s side to a 2-0 success over Stoke City.
Looking to tighten their hold on eighth place in the Premier League, the Swans endured a frustrating first half at the Liberty.
However, the breakthrough arrived with 14 minutes remaining as Montero dived to head home Jonjo Shelvey’s cross.
Stoke were reduced to 10 men shortly afterwards when Marc Wilson was shown a second yellow card for bringing down the Ecuadorian.
And the Swans put the game to bed in the second minute of stoppage time, with Ki Sung-Yueng finishing off a swift counter-attack.