Jack the Lad: New year, new hope

27th December 2018

There's nothing that kicks off a new year quite like a win for the Swans.

Since I started supporting the club back in 1978, I've enjoyed a number of memorable successes when it comes to games over the turn of the year.

In fact, that first year of supporting the Swans started in perfect style either side of New Year's Day.

New Year's Eve 1977 saw the boys make the long trek north to take on Hartlepool United.

The journey was certainly well worth it as they saw in the New Year having trounced the home side 4-0.

And things got even better a couple of days later on January 2 when the Swans overcame Wimbledon 3-0 at the Vetch.

The season would end with the Swans claiming their first promotion during their famous rise from the Fourth Division to the top-flight under player-manager John Toshack, who had taken over in March.

Undoubtedly my favourite New Year result came just a couple of years later when the Swans recorded one of the most celebrated league results up to that point in their history.

The events of New Year's Day 1980 were to be immortalised in song to the tune of Hark the Herald Angels Sing and celebrated for many years to come.

The Swans, who had beaten Preston 1-0 at the Vetch on January 29, welcomed in the new decade with a memorable 2-1 home win over local rivals Cardiff City in front of a bumper crowd of 21,400.

Just to make the victory that little bit sweeter, it was sealed by former Cardiff City players John Toshack and David Giles, the latter having only recently joined via Wrexham.

Giles' late winner ensured there were more than a few extra hangovers to be nursed in Swansea on January 2 that year. What a fantastic way to start the Eighties!

The club's biggest ever win on January 1 came on the first day of 1991, when they thrashed Rotherham 5-0 at the Vetch thanks to a double strike from Andy Legg and further goals from Jimmy Gilligan, Terry Connor and David D'Auria.

And if you're looking for some good omens for the start of 2019, the Swans last win on New Year's Day came in 2011 when they beat this year's opponents Reading.

A Darren Pratley goal just after the hour and some brilliant saves by Dorus de Vries saw the Swans claim a 1-0 win which pushed them up into second place in the championship - their highest league position for 27 years.

Of course, what followed in the remainder of 2011 will go down in Swans history as the club gained promotion into the Premier League.

This past year may not have been the greatest in the club's history, but it certainly hasn't been the worst either.

Whatever happens on New Year's Day this year, it's the start of a brand new year with all the potential and exciting possibilities that brings.

Let's be positive and look forward to what will be another memorable and successful season in the history of Swansea City.

C'mon you Swans!