For both Rovers and this weekend’s opponents Swansea City this season represents the 20th anniversary of a past glory. The culmination of the 1980/81 season, and the date of 2nd May 1981 particularly, signalled promotions for both clubs, albeit two divisions apart. For Doncaster, a 2-1 home win over Bournemouth t Belle Vue, coupled with Peterborough’s failure to beat Hereford ensured that Billy Bremner’s side would be promoted to Division 3, but for the Swans promotion was to taste much sweeter.
Swansea had been in the bottom division themselves in the 1978-79 season, however a dramatic upturn in fortunes saw back to back promotions under the leadership of John Toshack. Incredibly the Swans went in to the final day of the 80/81 season knowing that victory would ensure a third successive promotion and complete a phenomenal run from the Fourth Division straight to the First. A reported 10,000 Swansea fans made the trip from South Wales to Preston for the final game of the season hoping to see their team reach the top flight for the first time in their history and they were not to be disappointed as the Swans ran out 3-1 winners at Deepdale.
The excellent Welsh football blog Ffwtbol recently wrote a short piece on ‘The Games We Wished We’d Seen’. Perhaps unsurprisingly it was this victory at Preston which was favourite amongst the Swansea City fans replying to the question, including a Swans supporting good friend of mine. As such it seems only right to make that game the focus of this week’s Viva Video. The footage may be slightly behind the audio, but thankfully a stylish Swansea City away strip makes up for that, as too does the opening goal from Leighton James.
Wait there’s more…