FPA president Alan Curtis praises move to keep Vetch Field as a place for recreation
Swansea City club and Former Players' Association president Alan Curtis has praised the initiative to keep the Vetch Field as a place for community recreation.
Curt joined other members of the FPA, along with fans and residents of Sandfields at the old VETCH Field to mark the official opening of the multi-use games area and the unveiling of a blue plaque on the site.
Swansea City and Swansea Town as the club was previously know, played at the Vetch for almost a century before the upgrade to the Swansea.com Stadium in 2005.
Club legend Curt said the old ground continued to hold a special place in supporters’ hearts and the council’s £95,000 investment was a fitting way to preserve its status.
“There has always been such a close bond between the community here and the football club and the city itself.
“Even in the dark old days when we were only getting 1400 fans at the Vetch people were still aware of what was going on at the club; who was fit, which players we were about to sign or players who were about to be sold and the Vetch has always been a unique place in the history of Swansea itself.
“And this is just a nice tribute to it now, physical evidence that the Vetch still exists but in a different form.”
He started his playing career at the VETCH in 1972 and ended it there in 1990, having made more than 400 appearances and scoring 110 goals for the club. He also won 35 caps for Wales, netting six times.
He commended the move to preserve the area for recreation.
“For 90 odd years we played here as a club and I think it’s a wonderful gesture from all those concerned that we have got something to commemorate the place.
“The Vetch as a football ground is no more but we’ve got a little five a side area in the middle, the centre circle is marked off, there’s lots of play areas, so it’s still a place for recreation and I think that’s important.
“They could have built houses here which has happened with a lot of grounds and that takes away the memories a little bit but I think with the plaque, the way the ground is being used now plus the allotment, there’s a lovely feel about the place and people have got such great memories of the Vetch and will be pleased to see what has happened to it.
“I know as a player I have great memories but you talk to any supporter and they will tell you how much they miss the Vetch, even though the Swansea.com Stadium is making its own history, especially during the Premier League years, but it’s important that we remember what came before.
“There wouldn’t be a club and a new ground without the Vetch, so it’s great now that this is something people can share.”
He was awarded his MBE by the Duke of Cambridge in February after being recognised for services to Welsh football in a playing and coaching career that spanned over four decades.
He retired from coaching in May 2019. After hanging up his boots, he also held roles as caretaker manager, assistant manager, first-team coach, loan player manager, head of youth development, youth coach, community officer and matchday host for Swansea City.
Ex-Swans, men or women, who want to be involved with Swansea City Former Players’ Association are asked to fill in the registration form HERE.
The club is also keen to hear from relatives and friends of former players who are not online but who might still like to join the FPA.
Anyone in this category is asked to call the FPA secretary, Catherine Thomas, on 01792 616420 or email firstname.lastname@example.org