Frank Lampard joined the long list of those paying tribute to Alan Curtis on Wednesday night – after the Derby manager had also joined the guard of honour.
Welsh legend Curtis embraced with England legend Lampard before the Swans’ 1-1 draw with the play-off chasers at the Liberty Stadium.
The ceremony was to mark King Curt’s final home involvement as assistant coach before his retirement – an association as player, coach, scout, manager and general all-embracing emblem for the club that stretches back 40 years.
Lampard – who was at the Swans as an 18-year-old back in 1995-96, on loan from West Ham, and when Curtis was youth team coach – said: “Alan has been a legend for Swansea and for Welsh football. But more than that he’s a gentleman.
“When I got the call a few days ago about the guard of honour, it was an absolute pleasure and a privilege to be involved with that.
“There are so many people in football whose work behind the scenes doesn’t get seen and he’s one of those, even though very often he hasn’t been behind the scenes, he’s been up front. It was quite right that was recognised.
“People who work in football so long so often don’t get the accolades they deserve. We were pretty proud to be part of that and good luck to him in the future.”
Lampard’s Derby are still firm favourites to finish sixth and take the final play-off spot in the Championship, even though they have left the door open slightly to both Middlesbrough and Bristol City.
If Derby beat West Brom at home in their final match on Sunday, they will confirm their place – although a draw or defeat could let in either of their rivals.
They could have virtually assured themselves of the top six if they had been able to hang onto their first-half lead through a goal from skipper Richard Keogh.
But Wayne Routledge grabbed a deserved equaliser for the Swans who were improved when manager Graham Potter sent on Jay Fulton and Declan John at half-time.
The draw means Swansea end their home campaign unbeaten in their last 11 league matches at the Liberty Stadium – in sharp contrast to their away form which cost them any chance of making the top six themselves.
Potter’s team now complete their season with a visit to Blackburn Rovers where the manager will be hoping they can end their campaign in the same upbeat manner they ended the game on Wednesday.
Potter said: “The support we’ve had, the crowd at the Liberty has been brilliant. I think we’ve got better and better here and I think the crowd have been fantastic with the team and me, despite whatever frustrations they’ve had.
“So I thank them for that. It’s nice to get some momentum at home and make it difficult for teams.
“Derby were the better team first half. They deserved to go in 1-0 up and it probably could have been two because they were the better team.
“They pressed us well and we found it difficult to play through them or get any control. We probably weren’t at our best either – probably a combination of them getting a really good result at Bristol City and feeling really positive, and we were on the back end of a disappointment.
“It wasn’t from a lack of trying on our part, but sometimes you have to hold your hands up and say the opposition are better.
“In the second half I thought we responded well. I was pleased with Jay and Declan’s introduction and I thought we were the better team in the second half.
“So, in the end maybe a draw was a fair result. They’re a good team and I can see why they’re in the play-offs.”