Jack the Lad: Is it derby day?

4th December 2018

Loyal Swans fan and website columnist Jack the Lad glances down the list of footballing derbies - and wonders if Swansea City's trip to Brentford can be included.

Last weekend's FA Cup tie between Wrexham and Newport County was widely described in the media as a derby match.

While I suppose it's fair to describe the match as a Welsh derby, the definition of a derby is usually deemed to be a match played between neighbouring rivals.

There can't be many derby matches in British football which are played between teams situated more than 120 miles apart at different ends of the same country.

Even our traditional rivalry with Cardiff – more than 40 miles away – is probably pushing it a little bit as a British ‘local’ derby when compared with two of last weekend's Premier League encounters.

Liverpool and Everton's grounds are separated by a city park you can stroll across in around 10 minutes, while the distance between Fulham and Chelsea's homes can be driven in a similar time – even allowing for West London traffic.

However, there are a number of weird and wonderful derbies in British football, which don't just come down to two teams being in the same district, the same city, or even the same county.

For example there is the fierce rivalry between South London-based Crystal Palace and Brighton, who are situated on the Sussex coast.

In the absence of any other name linking the two clubs, which are almost 50 miles apart, the match-up is known as the M23 Derby, christened after the stretch of tarmac which connects the clubs.

This isn't a unique situation. Coventry v Leicester is the M69 Derby, Luton v Watford is the M1 Derby and, apparently, Bognor Regis Town v Whitehawk FC is the A27 derby! Who knew?

Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, following in this tradition, and in the absence of our Cardiff City Stadium rivals from the Championship this season, I dub the Swans' match against Brentford on Saturday as The M4 Derby!

Now apparently, there is already a clash known as the M4 derby, which is played between Swindon Town and Reading.

Fair enough, both sides are situated close to the M4, I can't argue with that. But surely, the Swans' clash with Brentford this Saturday is a far more representative of the entire length of the M4 than Swindon and Reading?

Brentford's Griffin Park is situated just over a mile away from the very start of the M4.

The road passes so close to the ground it is used as a landmark by many motorists travelling into the city. Even the club's new stadium will be little more than a hop, skip and a jump from the M4.

Meanwhile, 180 miles west, the Liberty Stadium is less than three miles from Junction 45 of the M4 and only a dozen or so miles from the end of the motorway at Pont Abraham!

Tell me, what match could possibly be better deserving of the M4 Derby moniker than one between the two clubs based at its east and west extremities?

So, eat your heart out Old Firm, wipe away your tears Superclasico, wind your neck in Derby Di Milano and find a diversion Reading versus Swindon.

There's a new kid on the block – Swansea City v Brentford – the real M4 Derby!

C'mon you Swans!