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Nurse at 80: Happy birthday to a Swans legend

Nurse had two distinguished spells as a player before twice helping save the club from off-field financial problems after hanging up his boots.

And Swans chairman Huw Jenkins has paid tribute to one of the Swans’ great servants.

“I congratulate our very own Mel Nurse on the celebration of his 80th birthday,” Jenkins said.

“I got to know Mel a number of years ago and I really enjoyed working with him, especially during what were often difficult days at the old Vetch Field.

“Mel has done a great deal for this football club over the years and I really hope we will continue to see him at the Liberty Stadium for many years to come.

“Happy birthday Mel from everyone at Swansea City.”

Central defender Nurse was born and raised in Swansea, and made more than 300 appearances for his hometown club during two spells, first from 1955 to 1962 and then 1968 to 1971.

After joining the groundstaff at the Vetch in 1955, he made his league debut in the Swans’ 6-1 win at home to Leicester City nine months later.

He was ever present in 1959-60 and starred in the 1961 Welsh Cup final success before joining Middlesbrough for £25,000 in October 1962.

Nurse returned home after a spell at Swindon and helped the club win promotion in 1969-70, eventually ending his Swans career with 16 goals in 308 games.

He later established himself as a successful businessman in Swansea and had a stint on the Swans’ board in the 1980s.

Nurse played an important role in saving the club from being wound up after the gates were locked at Vetch Field in 1986.

And he was a central figure in 2001-02 as he spearheaded the consortium which helped save his beloved club from severe financial problems.

 

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