Swansea City fan focus David Viner
We continue our weekly fans feature as we put our loyal supporters under the spotlight!
Fan Focus gives every member of the Jack Army a chance to share their favourite tales, games and goals from supporting the Swans over the years.
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Name: David Viner
From: Originally from Gloucester but now living in Birmingham.
How long have you been supporting the Swans?
I have been supporting the Swans since April 1991.
What was the first Swans game you attended?
My first Swans game was on October 24, 1992, at home to Reading. The Swans won 2-1 and I'll always remember our winner - a Mark Harris header from a trademark Andy Legg long throw. From where I was sitting in the East Stand it looked like he had disappeared down the tunnel to take it!
It was a fantastic experience, and it's strange to think that the attendance that day was barely 5,000 because I remember feeling like the Vetch was packed! That win took us to the top of the table, and so my love affair with the Swans began.
Why did you start supporting the Swans?
I have family who hail from Neath, so whilst staying with them I was taken for a day trip to Swansea.
As I was starting to get interested in football at this time, they decided to take me along to the Vetch Field. It was a non-matchday and something about the empty stadium really caught my interest.
It was the first time I had been to a league ground of that size. I was really fortunate to bump into the late Reg Pike at the gate, who upon hearing that I was visiting from Gloucester wasted no time in showing me around. By the end of my tour - and with a couple of bags of merchandise (including several programmes) kindly donated by Moira - I was hooked!
What is your most memorable Swans moment?
Without a doubt, my most memorable moment is being at Wembley for the 2011 play-off final.
It was such a great occasion. I went with my stepdad, who sadly passed away earlier this year, and going with him - as I did to many Swans games - are memories I will always treasure.
My son was also born at the beginning of May 2011, so it's a very significant month for me.
What is the best game you've seen at the Vetch/Liberty?
To list a few: The 1992-93 play-off semi-final against West Bromwich Albion; the victory over West Ham in the FA Cup in 1999; and the last home game of the 1999-2000 season against Exeter City that sealed promotion to Division Two.
I think I probably remember these games for the atmosphere rather than the quality of the football, because when the Vetch was full it was a very special place.
What is the best goal you've seen at the Vetch/Liberty?
When I think of the best goals I've seen, I tend to think of those from away games. One of my favourites is Michu's first in the away game at Arsenal when we won 2-0. It was such a calm strike. The away end at the Emirates went crazy. Beating a side like Arsenal away in the Premier League was amazing.
Can you tell us about the greatest sacrifice you have made to watch the Swans?
There are many occasions where I have changed social arrangements and plans because of Swans games, but one time, which always sticks in my head, was making my parents delay our family summer holiday because of the 1997 play-off final at Wembley. We couldn't go anywhere until the game had finished!
Who is your favourite Swans player of all time, and why?
In the early years of following the Swans, my favourite player was Andy Legg. I loved the fact that he had the longest throw in football - something I was never able to quite emulate despite countless hours practising in the back garden.
I was also a huge Jan Molby fan. In the mid-90s, living in Gloucester, the only way I could keep track of my beloved Swans was by using the telephone information service ClubCall (much to my parents displeasure). You can imagine the phone bill the month Jan became player-manager!
Who is your favourite current player, and why?
My favourite player these days is Gylfi Sigurdsson. I thought he had a great impact on our first season in the Premier League. Although I was disappointed to see him join Spurs, I always hoped he would come back. Great at set-pieces, he's scored some fantastic goals (my favourite is the winner at Old Trafford last season).
What is your favourite Swans kit from over the years?
I still treasure my first Swans shirt from the 1992-93 season. It was the yellow away shirt sponsored by Action. I distinctly remember buying it after we drew 1-1 against Oxford United in the FA Cup third round. I was truly hooked on supporting the Swans by then.
If you could sign one player for the club, who would it be?
I have always admired midfielders like Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard. It would have been great to see Lampard pull on a Swansea shirt again.
It is clear that these days we are signing players of real quality, so I'll just leave scouting to those in the know.
What has been your most disappointing moment watching the club?
In terms of being at a game, probably the League One play-off final at the Millennium Stadium and also relegation from Division Two in 2001.
I was at Port Vale when we lost and it became mathematically impossible to stay up. It was a long journey back to Swansea that night.
What makes Swansea City special to you?
The sense of history. Few clubs have been through what Swansea have experienced over the years - certainly of those clubs in the Premier League (with perhaps the exception of Bournemouth).
You only need to watch 'Jack to a King' to be reminded of how far we have come in such a short space of time.
I'm immensely proud to say I'm a Swansea fan. It's lovely to be able to get my little boy into football now, and he attended his first match when we played Villarreal in a pre-season friendly.