FAN FOCUS: Andrew Griffiths

10th May 2015
Fan Focus


We continue our weekly fans feature as we put our loyal supporters under the spotlight!
Fan Focus gives every member of the Jack Army a chance to share their favourite tales, games and goals from supporting the Swans over the years.

If you want to be involved in the feature, email jackwells@swanseacityfc.co.uk



Name: Andrew Griffiths
Age: 40
From: Brynamman

How long have you been supporting the Swans?
I've been supporting the Swans for around 34 years.

What was your first Swans game?
It was my dad who took me to my first game at the Vetch Field, which was against Tottenham Hotspur on September 22, 1981. We won 2-1!

Why did you start supporting the Swans?
I would have to put this down to my uncle John Thomas, who has been a season ticket holder for as long as I can remember.
I can recall him getting me the Swans home kit the season we won promotion from the Second Division. The following season I remember nagging my Dad to take me and, in all fairness, he did. Since that day, I became a Jack Army member for life!



What is your most memorable Swans moment?
There are too many to mention, but three occasions particularly spring to mind due to the importance of each of the games.
Firstly, the Hull City game at the Vetch has to be mentioned, where we needed to win to stay in the Football League. For obvious reasons, it was a very memorable and emotional day. 
Secondly, the play-off final against Reading, where a place in the Premier League was up for grabs. It was a great win at Wembley and a historic moment for the club.
Finally, it has to be the League Cup final win over Bradford City. To witness my beloved Swans win our first major cup will live with me for the rest of my life.

Best game you've seen at the Vetch/Liberty?
It has to be the Hull City game at the Vetch to stay in the Football League. I remember standing on the North Bank and being very nervous and quite emotional when we went 2-1 down in the first half. But soon things changed in our favour, with us coming out on top as 4-2 winners.
Meanwhile, the best game at the Liberty has to be the play-off semi-final second leg against Nottingham Forest. What a game that was! The atmosphere was amazing and the result matched it! It was no doubt a defining moment in the club's recent history.

Best goal you've seen at the Vetch/Liberty?
At the Vetch, there have been many great goals scored over the years, but the one that stands out for me is Andrew Legg's goal against Stoke City when Bruce Grobbelaar was the opposition goalkeeper. The only downside was that we lost the game.
Meanwhile, at the Liberty Stadium it has to be Kevin McLeod's goal against Bristol City in the 7-1 romp! We were seated way up high in the South Stand, directly in line with the path of the ball as it flew into the top corner.



Your greatest sacrifice to watch the Swans?
Again, there are too many to mention. Seriously though, I have probably put the Swans before my lovely wife on many occasions (but she's okay with it... I think!).
There is one particular occasion that springs to mind. It was my eldest son Daniel's birthday party on the day of that game against Hull City - the match I have mentioned a lot. Due to its importance, it was one that I just couldn't miss. After the match, I quickly left the Vetch and, feeling on top of the world, made up by celebrating my son's birthday into the evening.

Your typical pre-match ritual?
My pre-match ritual is, and has always been, quite straightforward. Over the last ten or so years, I have been in the company of my two elder sons Daniel and Jordan.
Travelling from Brynamman, I stop off in the bookies to try my luck on football coupons, prior to grabbing a bite to eat. We then enter the Liberty early doors to check out the team and read the programme, as well as to have a chat with the usual crowd in the South Stand.

Who is your favourite Swans player of all time, and why?
Robbie James is a complete legend of Swansea City. He was strong as an ox and a very gifted footballer, who scored some great goals for us. It was a great shame that he left us far too early. I had the privilege of meeting him just a few years before his death, and his passing was a huge loss, not only to football but to the Swansea City family.

Favourite current player?
This has to be Leon Britton, even though he's been in and out of the squad over the last few months due to injury and squad competition. For me, this guy is Mr Swansea City!
When he left us for Sheffield United, I was truly gutted. I remember talking to him while he was still at Sheffield, when he came to watch our cup match at Wigan, and I asked him if there was any chance of him making a return to Swansea. I remember that little smile of his when he said 'maybe'. And not long after, he was back! 
Over the years, he has been our most consistent performer, who would never put a foot wrong on the pitch.



Favourite Swans kit from over the years?
It has to be first one that my uncle gave me. It was the season we won promotion to the old First Division - a real classic with the original Adidas logo.  I also have to mention the away kit of that season.

If you could sign one player for the club, who would it be?
If truth be told, there is not one player that stands out. The reason I say this is because you can spend all the money in the world, but it doesn't guarantee you the best player on the value spent on the player.
As long as they play and give 100 per cent for the shirt and the club, then this will pass my approval on any player.

Your most disappointing moment watching the club?
I have always enjoyed watching my club, but if I had to pick one disappointing moment, then this would have to be the League One play-off final against Barnsley at the Millennium Stadium. 
At this point in time, I honestly thought the opportunity of reaching the Championship had passed us by. But losing that final was probably the best thing that could have happened to us as not long after a certain Roberto Martinez took over and led us to the Championship. Since then, we have never looked back.