Wyndham's warm welcome at new '81 Club
20th September 2016
Forty-six years after making his Swans debut, Wyndham Evans is back on the Swansea City team again.
The popular former full-back has been signed up as part of the club's growing hospitality team to host the new '81 Club in the OSTCFX Suite at the Liberty Stadium.
The suite, which celebrates the Swans' spectacular rise to the old First Division under John Toshack, has been receiving rave reviews since it first opened its doors at the start of the season.
And Wyndham, who is proving the perfect host for the exclusive members, loves every minute of life in the Premier League.
"It's great recalling some of the old stories,'' explained Wyndham. "Former manager John Hollins popped in to see us against Chelsea which was a welcome bonus for everyone.''
Wyndham is one of only a handful of players who played for the Swans in all four divisions during their remarkable rise from the Fourth to the top of the old First Division.
Born in Llanelli, he was spotted as a 16-year-old playing for Llanelli Steel in the Carmarthenshire League and turned out for Stoke City as an amateur.
Then Swans boss Roy Bentley invited him for a trial and he became a regular in the Football Combination as a part-timer under Roy Saunders; making his League debut against Bristol Rovers in the 1969-70 season.
He turned professional the following season under Harry Griffiths, who nurtured his aggressive, whole-hearted approach and instilled a new attacking side to his game as a right-back. He continued to develop under the managerial guile of John Toshack and was a regular member of the side that climbed through the divisions.
He did find himself out of the side at the start of the 1980-81 season as the Swans pushed for promotion to the First Division. But as their campaign started to falter, Toshack again turned to his tried and tested stalwart and recalled Wyndham for the final 12 games of a campaign which culminated in that famous day at Preston in May 1981 when the Swans joined the footballing elite in the top flight.
"They were great days,'' added Wyndham.
Having been a regular visitor to the Liberty since the switch from the lovely, ugly Vetch Field, Wyndham has always maintained his love-affair for the club.
And he is convinced Francesco Guidolin will inspire the Swans to another successful season.
He reckons Guidolin proved his worth by steering the club to a mid-table finish last term and is excited about what the Italian's first full campaign at the helm may bring.
"Francesco came in last season and did exactly what the club asked of him," he added. "I thought Curt (Alan Curtis) did a great job too when Francesco was unwell and, after a difficult start to the season, we ended up 12th.
"That was a really good finish given the way the first half of the season went. Now Francesco has the chance to show what he can do over a full year and I am excited to see what happens.
"We will have to wait and see, but I think there are plenty of encouraging signs.
"I am optimistic about what the season will bring. I know we have a few tough games coming up, but the players seem to be inspired whenever they face the big clubs, as we saw in the game against Chelsea."
In total, the former Swans captain made 390 League appearances for the Swans and scored 20 goals before leaving the club in 1982.
He rejoined the following year as player-coach under Toshack and was granted a testimonial against Liverpool.
He left the club in 1985 after the arrival of John Bond as manager and went on to manage Llanelli and Carmarthen in the League of Wales.
But now he's back on the teamsheet again as matchday host of the '81 Club.
"A lot of people have commented on the relaxed atmosphere and also the quality of the exclusive suite we have," added Wyndham.
"It's great fun. Our members come in a couple of hours before the game and enjoy themselves.
"It's very comfortable and very relaxed, and it's a great chance for me to meet lots of different Swans fans.
"We have a chat before and after the game and everybody has a lovely seat just outside the box. If every game is as exciting as Chelsea was, we will be in for a good season!"
There are still a few places available in the '81 Club. It's an all-inclusive package that includes drinks, upmarket dining, padded balcony match seating, dedicated staff and even transferable membership. And, of course, a warm welcome and some great old stories from Wyndham himself.
For more information, contact the hospitality team on 01792 616628 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.