World Cup Swans: Rory Fallon
As the 2018 World Cup draws closer, the official website takes a look back at the players who have turned out for the Swans and played on the biggest stage of all.
Today we focus on Rory Fallon.
Rory Fallon remains the only footballer from New Zealand to have played for Swansea City.
The 6ft 3in striker spent his entire club career in the UK with the likes of Barnsley, Plymouth, Ipswich and Aberdeen, as well as the Swans.
He also turned out for Shrewsbury, Swindon, Yeovil, St Johnstone, Crawley, Scunthorpe and Bristol Rovers, while he ended his playing days with non-league sides Torquay United and Dorchester Town.
Despite representing England at various youth levels, Fallon won 23 caps for New Zealand, scoring six goals, before announcing his retirement from football last November.
AT THE SWANS
Fallon became the Swans’ second-most expensive signing when he arrived from Swindon for a fee believed to be £300,000 in January 2006.
The striker appeared 20 times in all competitions during the second half of the 2005-06 season, as Kenny Jackett’s men reached the League One play-off final.
Fallon marked the occasion with a spectacular overhead kick against Barnsley at the Millennium Stadium, but could not prevent a heartbreaking defeat on penalties.
He made a positive start to the Swans’ following campaign with eight league goals in 24 appearances, before Plymouth paid £300,000 for his services in January 2007.
Overall, Fallon netted 13 times in 48 games during his 12-month stint in SA1.
AT THE WORLD CUP
Fallon entered his name into New Zealand footballing folklore when he scored the goal that beat Bahrain in the play-offs for the 2010 World Cup, securing his country’s first appearance at the finals for 28 years.
He was named in Ricki Herbert’s 23-man squad for the finals in South Africa and played the full 90 minutes as the All Whites opened with a 1-1 draw against Slovakia.
He also started in the creditable 1-1 stalemate with Italy before being replaced by Chris Wood in the 63rd minute.
Wood also took Fallon’s place in the 69th minute of the goalless draw with Paraguay which, despite ensuring they remained unbeaten in three matches, was not enough to prevent New Zealand from elimination at the group stage.