John Hollins fondly reflects on his Swansea City memories
13th April 2016
John Hollins recalled some of his fondest Swansea City memories after watching two of his former clubs do battle at the weekend.
The former Swans boss was the club's guest speaker for the Barclays Premier League fixture against Chelsea at the Liberty.
Hollins, who spent 16 years at Chelsea as a player and then manager, led the Swans to the Third Division title in 2000 thanks to a final-day draw at Rotherham United.
He also masterminded the FA Cup victory over West Ham in 1999, with Martin Thomas's goal ensuring the Swans became the first fourth-tier team to defeat a top-flight club in the competition since the re-organisation of the league structure in 1992.
Hollins spent three years at the Vetch before spells at Rochdale, Stockport County, Crawley and Weymouth.
And the 69-year-old fondly reflected on his most memorable moments in South West Wales during last Saturday's visit to SA1.
"I've got absolutely fantastic memories of my time at Swansea," said Hollins.
"Playing at the Vetch was like a cup final occasion every time. As Harry Redknapp said when we beat West Ham in the FA Cup - 'it's not a cup final, what's going on? Everyone is shouting and screaming at me'.
"It gives me goose pimples just thinking of it.
"And, of course, winning a championship title was fantastic for the club, the supporters and the city."
The club has made massive strides since lifting the Third Division title at Millmoor 16 years ago.
Not only are the Swans plying its trade in the Premier League, the club has also built two training complexes and developed an emerging academy.
It's a world apart from the days Hollins was in charge, as he explains.
"The club is unrecognisable in certain ways from the time when I was here," he added.
"Swansea have a super stadium, which is a great place to play, and they have been in the Premier League for five years.
"When I was in charge, we would go to the site near to where the Liberty is now and - hopefully - we would get two pitches where we could train. We did some training and hopefully no-one would kick the ball into the river!
"We would also play on the beach when there was nowhere else to train, then we would go back for a curry. They are good memories."
For the full video interview with John, watch this week's episode of Swans In Focus, which you can find on our Swans TV YouTube channel and website this Friday.
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