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In Days Of Olde, When Knights Were Bold . . . And Swansea Played Cardiff Twice In Two Days

Jurgen Klopp may have a point about fixture congestion, but you wonder what the Liverpool manager might have made of the arrangements back in the Fifties.

Looking down the record of matches between Cardiff City and Swansea Town, as they were then, their two clashes in Division Two in 1951 leap out of the record books. Why? Because they were played on consecutive days.

Not only that, the first game was played at the Vetch Field on Christmas Day and the return was at Ninian Park on Boxing Day.

And as well as playing on the Wednesday and Thursday, they also played two days later at the weekend, making in four matches in eight days over the Christmas period.

That was the norm in those days, along with a minimum wage. The players had no say, little pay and just got on with it. The fans obviously loved it, because there were 19,260 in Swansea and then 46,003 in Cardiff the next day!

Swansea’s Cliff Jones looks to break away from Cardiff’s Charlie Rutter during the game at Ninian Park, 24th August 1957.

Swansea played on Christmas Day 19 times in league matches between 1923-1957, while Cardiff featured in 18 fixtures on 25 December between 1920 and 1954.

Included in the Bluebirds’ games were trips to Newcastle in 1926 and 1952 and Southend in 1935.

Now that the festive period is over, and life has got back to usual, the fans will be flocking to Cardiff City Stadium for the Welsh derby return on Sunday.

Swansea City will be chasing a slice of club history as they seek to become the first team in the biggest game in Welsh football to win two league derby games in the same season.

Ben Wilmot’s header proved the difference between the two teams in the game at the Liberty Stadium, but there is little between the rivals in the Championship standings.

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There are only four points separating the two arch-enemies and their recent performances against QPR in London – Cardiff were beaten 6-1 in the league and the Swans 5-1 in the FA Cup – suggest it is going to be a close contest this weekend.

The first competitive league meeting between the two teams was on 7 September, 1912, at the Vetch Field. Swansea Town 1-1 Cardiff City was the results of that first meeting between the two clubs which was in the Southern League Division Two.

The honour of scoring the first goal in a Welsh derby fell to Swansea striker Billy Ball, who hit the back of the Cardiff net 20 minutes into the game at the Vetch Field.

The English-born striker also held the distinction of scoring the Swans’ first professional goal, the first hat-trick, and was the first player to be sent-off.

Cardiff City v Swansea City Record


League Matches               Played             Cardiff        Swansea         Draws
Premiership                       2                        1                     1                         0
Championship                   7                        2                     3                        2
League 2                              30                      12                  11                        7
League 3                              12                       3                     5                        4
League 4                              4                         1                      1                        2
Southern League 1          2                          1                      1                        0
Southern League 2          2                         0                      0                       2
Overall                                  59                     20                    22                    17
Cup Matches
FA Cup                                  2                         0                      2                       0
League Cup                        5                          2                      3                       0
Associate Members        4                          1                       2                       1
Welsh Cup                          34                      19                     7                       8
FAW Premier                     2                         2                     0                       0
Overall                                  47                     24                   14                      9
ALL MATCHES               106                    44                    36                     26

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