TOP-FLIGHT JACKS: Nigel Stevenson

2nd November 2015

In 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.
Here, we put the spotlight on the Swans' former Wales defender Nigel Stevenson.

Date of birth: November 2, 1958
Appearances/goals for the Swans: 335 appearances; 19 goals
Former clubs: Swansea City (1976-1987); Cardiff City - loan (1985); Reading - loan (1986); Cardiff City (1987-1989); Merthyr Tydfil (1989-1990); Yeovil Town (1990)
Memorable moment: As a youngster, Stevenson played against a star-studded Tottenham Hotspur side in two League Cup ties in the season of 1978-79.
Did you know? Stevenson is the only Swans player to play for the club in every division up to Division One and back down to Division Four.

The one thing all supporters can identify with is a local lad that comes good at their local club. And in Nigel "Speedy" Stevenson, Swans fans had exactly that.
Despite not being the most technically gifted of central defenders, Stevenson could always be relied upon to give his all in every match he played.
A product of Danygraig and Cefn Hengoed schools, the defender signed on as an apprentice with the Swans upon leaving school in 1974.
He made his first-team debut against Southport at the Vetch Field in April 1976 but was made to wait a further two years before John Toshack made him a regular fixture in his side.
Having become a mainstay in Swansea's side in 1978, Stevenson was selected to represent Wales at Under-21 level, winning two caps against France and Holland to go alongside his previous Welsh youth honours.
And as the Swans advanced through the divisions, he remained ever-present at the heart of Toshack's side's defence while scoring some important goals along the way.
The highlight of his time at the Vetch Field came at Preston North End in the unforgettable final game of the season in 1981.
The Swans ran out 3-1 victors to finally gain promotion to Division One, in which Stevenson put in a typically brave performance to help his side to success despite returning home on crutches after damaging ligaments.
Swansea's first season in the top flight saw Stevenson gain the first of his four senior Welsh caps against England at Ninian Park.
And by the end of the club's spell in Division One, he had also two Welsh Cup winners medals to go along with his international caps.
In recognition of his ten years at the club, Stevenson enjoyed a testimonial match at the Vetch Field when former boss Toshack brought his high-flying Spanish side Real Sociedad to South Wales.
But injuries were taking their toll on the Swans stalwart, who went out on loan to Cardiff City and then Reading before signing permanently for the East Wales side in 1987.
It was during his time at Cardiff that he won his third Welsh Cup winners' medal when, alongside former Swans team-mate Alan Curtis, they defeated Wrexham 2-0 at the Vetch Field in 1988.
Stevenson went on to play for Llanelli, Haverfordwest County and Merthyr Tydfil in the Welsh League before a brief spell with Conference side Yeovil Town in 1990.
After hanging up his boots, Stevenson became a postman while studying part-time to become a physiotherapist - a job he now undertakes on a full-time basis at Cefn Coed Hospital.