Wayne Routledge’s journey to 300
Wayne Routledge recently followed in the footsteps of the likes of Alan Curtis MBE, Roger Freestone and Leon Britton by joining the list of players to have made 300 or more appearances for Swansea City.
The 36-year-old became just the 32nd player to reach 300 appearances in the 109-year history of the football club.
Routledge came to prominence at boyhood club Crystal Palace, where he made over 100 league appearances before making a £1.25 million move to Tottenham Hotspur in 2005.
He found it difficult to break into the Spurs side, however, and spent time on loan at Portsmouth and Fulham before signing for Aston Villa in 2008. After a stint on loan at Cardiff, he joined Queens Park Rangers on a permanent deal.
Routledge’s impressive form for the Hoops saw him join Newcastle in 2010 but, after a spell back on loan at Loftus Road, he signed for the Swans.
Routledge made a positive impression during the Swans’ maiden Premier League campaign, and then really started to shine under Michael Laudrup.
Having helped Laudrup’s Swans lift the 2013 Capital One Cup, he continued to thrive under the management of Garry Monk. A disciplined, reliable performer, Routledge has also been a regular under Francesco Guidolin, Bob Bradley, Paul Clement, Carlos Carvalhal, Graham Potter and, now, Steve Cooper.
After spending the first half of the 2018-19 season on the periphery of the first-team squad, the former England Under-21 international made a hugely positive contribution upon his return to the fold – scoring five times in 26 games.
Routledge added a further five goals in 24 games during the 2019-20 campaign, including the late winner at Leeds as well as a brace in the crucial victory at Reading on the final day.
He has recently returned to the fold to make an impressive impact in the club’s pursuit of promotion and racked up his 300th appearance in the Swans’ 2-2 draw with Wycombe Wanderers at the Liberty on Saturday.
Here, to mark the landmark, we look back at some of the notable moments of Wayne’s time with the Swans.
Manchester City 4 Swansea City 0
August 15, 2011
Routledge’s Swansea debut also marked the club’s maiden fixture in the Premier League. The Swans were thrown in at the deep end following their promotion from the Championship as they made the trip to face Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
Brendan Rodgers' side ended up well-beaten on the scoreboard, but had produced a performance that suggested they could not only compete, but thrive at top-flight level.
It took Roberto Mancini’s star-studded team 57 minutes to break the Swans down, with Edin Dzeko opening the scoring.
Debutant Sergio Aguero then scored either side of a David Silva strike, yet the Swans left the Etihad with heads held high.
Aston Villa 0-2 Swansea City
January 2, 2012
Routledge netted his first goal for the club and the first Premier League goal of his career as the Swans claimed their first away win in the division.
Nathan Dyer pounced on Stephen Warnock's poor backpass to give Swansea an early lead, while Andrea Orlandi flashed a shot inches wide in a dominant opening period.
Routledge doubled Swansea's lead moments after half-time, following up to blast home the rebound when Danny Graham's shot came off the post as the winger found the far corner of the net.
Charles N'Zogbia almost grabbed a last-minute consolation but the Villa winger's shot cannoned off the bar.
Halfway to 100
Swansea City 1 Manchester United 1
December 23, 2012
The Swans earned a deserved draw against Manchester United after a battling performance at the Liberty.
The visitors went ahead when Patrice Evra headed home from a Robin van Persie corner, but Swansea levelled matters before the break thanks to a close-range strike from Michu.
United pressed for a winner in the second half - hitting the woodwork twice - but the Swans held firm to earn a deserved point.
Bradford City 0 Swansea City 5
February 24, 2013
Swansea City created history by winning the League Cup for the first time in the club's history with a resounding win over Bradford City at Wembley.
Goals from Nathan Dyer and Michu earned the Swans a deserved 2-0 lead at the break before Dyer struck again.
Then a Jonathan de Guzman penalty, awarded after he was taken down by keeper Matt Duke - who was dismissed - ended the contest just before the hour mark.
And there was time for de Guzman to tap home another in added-on time to make it a record-breaking winning score in the competition - passing Manchester United's 4-0 win over Wigan in 2006.
The victory ended the club's run without a major piece of silverware, with the trophy coming in the Swans' 100th-year, and also meant the Swans qualified for the Europa League.
Routledge was enjoying an outstanding season, and the interplay between himself, Dyer, Pablo Hernandez and Michu was a delight to watch.
Derby Day Delight
Swansea City 3 Cardiff City 0
February 8, 2014
The Swans got Garry Monk's reign as head coach off to the best possible start as they claimed derby day revenge on Cardiff City with a handsome win at the Liberty.
After a goalless first half, the Swans were quick out of the blocks after the restart as Pablo Hernandez came off the bench to set up Routledge, who found the bottom corner in the 47th minute.
It was all one-way traffic from then on as the scorer turned provider when Routledge crossed for Nathan Dyer, and the winger dived in to nod home in the 78th minute.
Things got even better for the home side as Wilfried Bony headed home his 17th goal of the season with four minutes to go following Hernandez's delivery from a free-kick.
It sealed victory and made amends for the Swans defeat at Cardiff City Stadium earlier in the season.
A beauty against the Baggies
Swansea City 3 West Bromwich Albion 0
August 30, 2014
Routledge found the net with a beautiful acrobatic volley and Nathan Dyer netted a brace as an impressive Swans side ended West Brom’s unbeaten start to the 2014-15 season with a third win which sent them to the top of the Premier League.
Garry Monk’s men took the lead in the second minute when Dyer fired home from Gylfi Sigurdsson’s pass.
Routledge doubled the Swans’ lead with a stunning volley following a Craig Dawson headed clearance.
Dyer put the game beyond doubt in the 71st minute, slotting home from another Sigurdsson pass.
This was the Swans’ third successive win in the Premier League and made it the club’s best start to a season for 91 years.
The Swans finished in eighth position at the end of the 2014-15 season, their highest Premier League finish.
Appearance number 150
Aston Villa 0 Swansea City 1
March 21, 2015
Bafetimbi Gomis struck the winner three minutes from time to hand Swansea a dramatic victory at Villa Park.
The French striker had earlier had two shots saved by goalkeeper Brad Guzan, while Routledge also had a shot cleared off the line.
Gomis then scored his late winner when he held off Ciaran Clark to convert from 12 yards after Jefferson Montero's low cross.
Former Swans man Scott Sinclair fired a volley over in stoppage time but Villa could not force an equaliser.
Reading 1 Swansea City 4
July 22, 2020
Routledge netted a brace to help secure a Championship play-off place for the Swans in dramatic fashion on the final day of the regular 2019-20 season at Reading. His magnificent lofted finish was voted goal of the season by the Jack Army following the campaign.
The Swans entered the final game of the season knowing they had to beat Reading at the Madejski Stadium, but they would also need help from elsewhere.
Cardiff and Nottingham Forest were their two rivals, both three points ahead of the Swans. A defeat for either of those sides would open the door for Swansea, although they would also need a minimum goal difference swing of five in their favour if they were to overtake Forest.
The evening got off to a good start as the Swans were the first of the trio of play-off hopefuls to register a goal as Rhian Brewster smashed in a fantastic long-range strike.
However, the Swans soon suffered a setback as George Puscas levelled from the spot.
With Forest’s match back on level terms, Routledge gave Swansea hope as he superbly controlled a lovely pass from Matt Grimes and lofted the ball over Rafael Cabral and into the net.
Stoke were soon leading 3-1 at the City Ground, meaning the Swans only required two more goals to overtake Forest reach the play-offs.
They put themselves within tantalising reach when Liam Cullen, not long on the field as a substitute, superbly converted a half-volley to score his first senior goal.
Routledge then headed home his second of the match in added time - injuring his hamstring in the process - and the Swans were in the play-offs.
Bringing up the 300
Swansea City 2 Wycombe Wanderers 2
April 17, 2021
A late fightback saw Steve Cooper’s side earn a point against Wycombe Wanderers and close the gap to the automatic promotion spots at the Liberty.
Routledge entered the fray after Andre Ayew was forced off through injury early in the first half.
After a goalless first half, the visitors struck twice inside the first six minutes of the second half as Admiral Muskwe and Garath McCleary found the net.
That left the hosts facing an uphill struggle, but a Jamal Lowe penalty and a header from Liam Cullen saw the spoils shared.
Both sides had a number of chances, with Lowe, Connor Roberts and Wayne Routledge all denied by a combination of saves and clearances for the Swans.