Lovell enjoys emotional Swansea return

26th January 2019
First team

Gillingham manager Steve Lovell enjoyed the return to hometown club Swansea despite seeing his side go down to a 4-1 defeat in their Emirates FA Cup fourth-round tie.

The 58-year-old was born and raised in Dunvant and used to visit the Swans' former Vetch Field home with his father Alan, who was himself a former Swansea player.

Lovell went on to make two league appearances for Swansea in 1987 - while on loan from Millwall - scoring on his debut in a draw with Burnley.

And, while disappointed to see his side exit the competition after beating Cardiff in the previous round, he had been pleased to be back in familiar surroundings.

"It’s great to come back to your home town and home stadium. It’s a great stadium and great crowd – who I thought were brilliant behind their team," said Lovell, who was planning to visit his family in the area post-match.

"It was lovely to come back, it was disappointing to not get a result but the performance was the main thing.

"As a kid growing up, my dad took me to the old Vetch Field and it was my first sight of football that I had. Standing on the North Bank with my dad is something I can remember that quite vividly.

"Before the game I was a bit emotional as my dad would’ve loved to have been there to see this.

"He put a lot of time and effort into me to become a professional footballer. He would’ve been proud – but also happy as Swansea won 4-1!

"It would’ve been lovely for him to see it but my mum and sister will give me all the pats on the back when I see them, as I need it at the moment."