TOP-FLIGHT JACKS: Jeremy Charles

12th October

Continuing our new website feature, we focus on players who featured for Swansea City during the club's previous foray into the top flight of English football.
This week, we put versatile local lad Jeremy Charles under the spotlight.

Date of birth: September 26, 1959
Appearances/goals for the Swans: 303 appearances; 72 Goals.
Former clubs: Swansea City (1976-1983); Queens Park Rangers (1983-1985); Oxford United (1985-1988); Swansea City (1976-1983)
Memorable moment: Scoring twice on his debut against Newport County in the Football League Cup after coming on for Robbie James at the age of just 16.
Did you know? Charles scored Swansea's last goal in the Second Division and the first goal in the First Division.

When you're a local boy and your surname is Charles, expectations are high straight from the off.
But to Jeremy Charles' credit, he faced up to the hype and showed maturity beyond his tender years in establishing himself in the Swansea City team of the late 1970s.  
Son of the great Mel and nephew of the legendary John, Charles' introduction to professional football was nothing short of sensational.
Making his debut at the age of 16, he came on as a substitute in a League Cup tie at home to Newport County in 1976 to score twice as the Swans ran out 4-1 victors.
And by the end of his first season in the professional game, he ended up with an incredible 26 goals in all competitions.
It was inevitable that Charles would follow in the family tradition, being capped at schoolboy and youth level for Wales before winning an under-21 cap against England in 1979.
Only a year later, Charles won the first of his 12 senior Wales caps in Cardiff against Czechoslovakia, while gaining three promotions with the Swans to reach the English top flight in 1981.
Like his father and uncle before him, it was Charles' versatility that made him such an important member of the squad. But as time went on, niggling injuries came to hamper his development.
By 1983, the Swans were resigned to losing some of their star names. One of which was Charles, who joined Queens Park Rangers for a fee of £100,000.
But the Welshman struggled to settle in London and, after just two seasons in London, he moved on to Oxford United, where he played and scored in the Milk Cup final at Wembley in 1986, beating his former club QPR 3-1. Two former Swansea stars featured that day as Charles went up against former team-mate Robbie James.
But the Milk Cup triumph proved to be Charles' swansong as he was forced into retirement at the end of the 1987-1988 campaign through injury.
He took up a position in the Centre of Excellence at Oxford United for a couple of seasons before returning to the Vetch Field in August 1998 as part of the development of youth setup at the club.
By February 2000, along with Malcolm Elias, he left the Swans to take up a role at Southampton, where he remained until 2003 before resigning to take up a coaching school position back in his adopted home of Oxford.