Mark Gower is looking forward to Liberty reunion
3rd October 2015
In football, you'd be hard-pushed to find a lifelong supporter openly admitting he would be happy with his team losing a game. This Sunday, Mark Gower is that man.
Gower sees two of his former clubs do battle at the Liberty this weekend as the Swans host Tottenham Hotspur.
Gower, who turns 37 on Monday, will be the club's guest for the game and will be discussing his time at the Swans in the hospitality lounges before and after the match.
And despite turning pro at Tottenham - a club he has supporting ever since he can remember - his affinity will lie on the white of Swansea come 4pm on Sunday.
"I grew up supporting Spurs, and turning pro for them was an unbelievable moment for me," reflects Gower.
"I also had back-to-back promotions with Southend, but my five years at Swansea were the best times of my career.
"It's funny when I look ahead to Sunday. On one side is the team I've supported all my life; on the other is the club I've experienced the best times of my career.
"But on Sunday I'll want one team to win. Put it this way, I'm only okay with Spurs losing if it's against Swansea."
Gower would be forgiven for letting his allegiances fall in SA1, for he made 145 appearances - scoring three goals - for the Swans following his free transfer from Southend in June, 2008.
He was among many key figures as Brendan Rodgers led the club to the Premier League via the Championship Play-Offs in a side skippered by his close friend and current Swans boss Garry Monk.
His long-awaited top-flight debut finally arrived in a 1-0 defeat at Arsenal, with Gower playing 20 league games that season as the Swans finished their first Premier League campaign in 11th position.
"I had waited a long time to play in the Premier League," says Gower. "I'd gone full circle in my career, starting in the Premier League with Spurs and then dropping down to non league before finally making my way back with Swansea.
"The play-off final is probably the best moment of my career, but to play in the Premier League fulfils a dream.
"It meant so much to me, as it did for the squad, staff and supporters."
Little did he need reminding, but, given a nudge, Gower modestly recalls a famous stat he will never forget.
"I was statistically the most creative player in Europe at one point during our first year in the Premier League," he says with a smile.
"You don't forget things like that. At the time I just got on with things and didn't make anything of it, but now I'm happy to have that in the locker. If anyone wants to talk about that on Sunday in the hospitality lounges then I'd be more than happy to recall it!"
Having left the Swans in 2013, Gower went on to play for Championship side Charlton before a brief stint at non league Ebbsfleet.
With a Uefa B Licence already achieved, he continues to keep his face known in football circles by doing a "bit of coaching and scouting here and there".
This Sunday, though, he is likely to be one of the less animated characters watching at the Liberty.
"I must say I'm really looking forward to coming back," he adds. "I was at the same game at the Liberty last year - I actually stayed at Garry's house that night. He didn't talk much, which was a change, as Spurs won. He wasn't a happy fella.
"Seeing him as manager was a bit strange at first, but I always knew he'd be a manager, and a very good one at that.
"In fact, when I saw the news of his appointment I called him up and asked him when I'd be appointed his number two. He quickly avoided answering that one.
"Seriously though, seeing Swansea doing so well is really pleasing as an ex-player. I had a successful time at the club, my family loved the area and my daughter is Welsh too.
"The club has been on a constant rise, and last season's achievements were absolutely unbelievable.
"Seeing Swansea win on Sunday would be great because they are due a win - especially against Spurs.
"I wouldn't celebrate as wildly as I did when I scored goals against Hull and Norwich though. That celebration was only seen in public twice, and that is where it will stay!"
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