Fan Focus: Paul Draper

7th January 2018

Members of the Jack Army go under the spotlight in our regular feature where one fan recalls their favourite memories and stories of following the Swans over the years.

Name: Paul Draper

Age: 53

Where are you from? Swansea

How long have you been supporting the Swans?

I’ve supported the Swans for 42 years.

What was the first Swans game you attended?

It was at home to Cambridge United on August 30, 1975. We won 1-0.

Why did you start supporting the Swans?

My dad was an avid fan, so I started to go and watch them with him and it went from there!

What is your most memorable Swans moment?

I will never forget been at Preston when we won promotion to the First Division on May 2, 1981.

What is the best game you've seen at the Vetch/Liberty?

At the Vetch, that would have to be when we played Leeds in our first match in Division One. My favourite match at the Liberty was the play-off semi-final win over Nottingham Forest in 2011.

What is the best goal you've seen at the Vetch/Liberty?

Either Gary Stanley’s against Manchester City at the Vetch in 1982, or Lee Trundle’s lob against Yeovil at the Liberty in 2005.

Can you tell us about the greatest sacrifice you have made to watch the Swans?

Been married twice – both on a Friday!

Can you describe your typical pre-match ritual?

On a matchday, I work at the academy until an hour before kick-off and go straight to the game.

Who is your favourite Swans player of all time, and why?

Alan Curtis. I admired him when I was growing up and he had it all as a player in all four divisions.

Who is your favourite current player, and why?

Leon Britton. He’s a class act both on and off the pitch.

What is your favourite Swans kit from over the years?

That would have to be the Bukta home kit from the 1977-78 season.

If you could sign one player for the club, who would it be?

Andrea Pirlo.

What has been your most disappointing moment watching the club?

When we lost to Northampton Town in the play-off final at Wembley in 1997.

What makes Swansea City special to you?

Since my dad first took me in 1975, I have only ever missed four home games in all competitions. Once it’s in the blood, it’s a way of life!