FAN FOCUS: Matthew Wallace

3rd July 2016
Fan Focus


We continue our fan 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: Matthew Wallace
Age: 26
From: Ammanford, Carmarthenshire

How long have you been supporting the Swans?
My affinity with the Swans started back in 1998. Having attended a Football In The Community event in Ammanford during the summer of '98, I was given a free ticket to an upcoming home match, and it escalated from there.

What was the first Swans game you attended?
It was a home game against Scarborough on September 12, 1998. We won 2-0, with Steve Watkin scoring from the spot and Jason Price grabbing the second. It's a game and a date that will forever be etched in my mind.
My first away game was at Bristol Rovers in 2001. We were about to be relegated and it rained all afternoon on an open terrace. It was a long afternoon!



Why did you start supporting the Swans?
Before going to the Vetch for the first time, I'd always had a healthy interest in football but, for my sins, I favoured Liverpool. From the moment I stepped foot in the Vetch, that all changed. I was instantly hooked. I loved everything about the club. The atmosphere, the ground, and the chants; everything was brilliant and I couldn't wait for my next fix. I used to get stick in school for following the Swans, but I didn't care. They were my club and it was ingrained in me from that point onwards.

What is your most memorable Swans moment?
The 4-2 victory over Hull to stay in the Football League will stay with me until I die - the atmosphere was incredible! It had been such a terrible season so when that James Thomas chip hit the back of the net, I was uncontrollable! I was hugging and grabbing anyone in sight. To this day, it remains the only time I've ever cried at a football match. That final whistle and running on the pitch was just sensational!

What is the best game you've seen at the Vetch/Liberty?
A tough one! Going up against Exeter in 2000 and the Forest game in the play-offs were both unbelievable! Both Manchester United games that we've won were also outstanding. But for stand out performances alone, I'd go with West Brom in November 2012. The front four of Dyer, Routledge, Michu and Pablo Hernandez were unplayable that evening.



What is the best goal you've seen at the Vetch/Liberty?
We've had some quality goals over the years! I can remember Jonathan Coates scoring straight from a corner back in 2000, which, at the age of 10, I thought was the best thing I'd ever seen.
However, my all-time favourite goal has to be Andy Robinson's free-kick against Preston in the cup, back in 2004. After the turbulence of the previous year, it felt incredible beating higher league opposition.
An away goal that sticks in my mind was Delroy Facey curling one in from a ridiculous angle for Gillingham in 2007.

Can you tell us about the greatest sacrifice you have made to watch the Swans?
I'm a primary school teacher and last summer I changed schools. I missed my last day at a previous school and my first at the new job because I was out in Munich watching the Swans on our pre-season tour. I've never told my current work that they've been charged for an international phone call asking where I was.

Describe to us your typical pre-match ritual?
This has changed from year to year but, right now, home matches involve leaving Ammanford at around 1.15pm, getting to the Liberty, purchasing a programme and meeting mates that have moved away outside Frankie & Bennie's for a couple of beers and a chat/moan about the football. I head into the ground at around 2.45pm and take up my seat in the West Stand.



Who is your favourite Swans player of all time, and why?
I must admit that I had a big fan boy moment when I met Lee Trundle when he was playing for Neath and I was working with Aberystwyth Town Football Club. I used to love Trunds. A player who could bring you to the edge of your seat!
On that basis, I used to love Ferrie Bodde as well. It was a huge shame when he had to retire. One memory that sticks out in my mind is him playing an exquisite 60-yard pass at Southend away during our Championship-winning season. A man destined for greatness if it wasn't for the injury problems.

Who is your favourite current player, and why?
I can't look past Leon Britton right now. The man personifies everything that's great about the Swans. He's determined, passionate and unbelievable on the ball! I'm a big fan of Gylfi Sigurdsson, Angel Rangel, Neil Taylor and Ashley Williams as well!



What is your favourite Swans kit from over the years?
The Black and green kit of the second half of the 2007-08 season was a thing of beauty; I'm devastated I didn't invest in that one while it was available!
I was also a big fan of the 2011-12 home kit, while I still also own a kit from the 1998-99 season (Silvershield Windshields), which I'm looking to get framed.

If you could sign one player for the club, who would it be?
Aside from the obvious Messi/Ronaldo, I'd go along the lines of a 20-plus goal-a-season striker. Someone in the mold of Harry Kane would be great!

What has been your most disappointing moment watching the club?
From a personal perspective, it was Cardiff away in 2010. Michael Chopra's last minute winner was a crushing blow, which was made even worse with the bubble trip and not getting home until 10.30pm for a game only an hour down the road. I lived with a Cardiff fan whilst studying in university and, even now, that goal gets mentioned from time to time.

What makes Swansea City special to you?
It's our club. We've got local fans on the board and running the club. We've come up through the divisions and we've seen it all over the course of the past 20 years!
We can go anywhere in the world now and people know our club. Whatever your age, profession or gender, when the Swans kick off, we're all united under one banner. I may be biased, but you don't get that at your so-called 'bigger' clubs.