Where are they now? Dave Rushbury

8th February 2017
Where Are They Now?

Have you ever wondered what a former Swans player has been up to since hanging up his boots? 

In a regular feature, we catch up with past players to give you the answers.

This week we focus on former Swans defender Dave Rushbury, who played 52 league matches for the club between 1979 and 1981.
Rushbury now works as a sports lecturer at Chesterfield College.

Dave Rushbury was a member of the historic Swansea City side who achieved promotion to the top flight for the first time back in 1981.
The versatile defender, who had begun his professional career at West Bromwich Albion, came to the club's attention having twice lined up against the Swans for Sheffield Wednesday during the 1978-79 season.
"I moved to Swansea in the summer of 1979, which was the year that freedom of contract came into play, allowing players to make themselves available as free agents if they hadn't agreed a contact with their current club," says Rushbury, who went on to make 52 appearances for the Swans through until 1981.
Rushbury, who was 23 years of age when he signed for the Swans, had previously played 28 league matches for West Brom between 1974 and 1976 before making a further 112 appearances and scoring seven goals for Wednesday through until 1979.
Despite his relative experience in the Football League, the Wolverhampton-born defender believes he "grew as a player" during his time in South Wales.
"My biggest memory at Swansea was playing with Leighton Phillips," comments Rushbury.
"Leighton was a player I'd watched growing up for Aston Villa being a West Midlands lad myself. He was a wonderful number six and he was influential in me becoming a better player at Swansea.
"He was tough on me and would call a spade a spade in training. But he helped me develop aspects of my game, such as my passing, which I was very grateful for.
"We had a very talented team during my time at Swansea City with numerous Welsh internationals such as Leighton as well as Wyndham Evans, Nigel Stevenson, Leighton James, Robbie James, John Mahoney, Chris Marustik and Jeremy Charles."
The Swans finished 12th in the old Second Division (now the Championship) in Rushbury's debut season for the club, 1979-80.
The following campaign saw them finish third in the table as they achieved promotion along with West Ham United and Notts County.
"It was obviously great to have played a part in the first Swansea City team to get promoted to the top flight," smiles Rushbury.
"John Toshack was a fantastic manager and he deserves all the plaudits he gets for taking Swansea from the bottom division of the Football League to the top at that time.
"He often played three at the back while I was there, which was very advanced for a club in Britain at that time, when everyone else was playing 4-4-2.
"He was keen to play without full-backs, so rather than playing at left-back I usually played left-wing back or as a left-sided centre-half in the back three."
Rushbury was part of a Swansea backline that had the sixth best defensive record in the Second Division during the 1980-81 season, which aided the club's successful promotion push.
Despite his valuable contribution that campaign, the defender was sold to Carlisle United during the summer of 1981, meaning he never played in the top flight for the Swans.
He would achieve another promotion - from the Third to the Second Division - in his first season with the Cumbrians.
He later turned out for the likes of Gillingham, Doncaster Rovers, Bristol Rovers and Cambridge United before retiring from playing professional football in 1987.
"After retiring, I became a coach and a physiotherapist at Chesterfield Football Club when I was about 32 or 33 years of age," explains Rushbury.
"I took both the Uefa A licence coaching badges and the FA treatment diploma in sports injuries.
"I turned into something of a one-club man there, staying on while various managers came and went. After about 14 years of being there, Chesterfield had a difficult period and went into administration.
"I took over the reins and became the manager for about 18 months (in 2002). Management never suited me though.
"It wasn't that I didn't want to do it or couldn't do it, but it just wasn't for me.
"I just wanted to work with the players as I had done as a coach and a physiotherapist but not have all the scrutiny which management brings.
"At the end of my managerial spell at Chesterfield - and having obtained a BSc (Hons) in sports science in my latter years there - I was offered a job at the local further education college, Chesterfield College.
"I have been lecturing in sport there since September 2001, with my students going on to obtain various BTEC qualifications."