This issue we have a Swans eleven from Michael Howard. I said this before but he was the answer to Englands left back issues all those years back, ever dependable. They would have won a major tournament if they had only visited the Vetch from time to time!
Its only Rodge really isn’t it mate! All the others were awful ha ha, No Rodge was great, it was brilliant to have him around the dressing room. He should have played higher obviously but he stuck with the swans, he’s a local lad isn’t he. He was horrible to sit next to after the game, he used to scratch his arse and throw his undies at you and scratch his arse and throw sandwiches at you. But he was such a good keeper he was safe he used to come out and catch the ball at corners he was a brilliant keeper.
Centre halves Alan Tate. I’m going to go for three centre halves. I have to put Tatey in there smudge and Boundy.
Smudge was the big ugly one who used to head the ball, I’m sure that is what they all say. Smudge was my best mate when he was down here, we lived close together, we always spent a lot of time together and it was such a shame to see him go through what he did to be honest and to see how much it affected him personally, it was hard for him because he was in such good form at the time, he was quick, his passing, he would spread 50 yard balls sometimes. He was great at heading the ball and winning tackles but he was quick! People didn’t realise how quick he was. To see him go through the operation, it was tough for him but he was a great player and a great lad as well. He’s keeping all the plastic surgeons in business now getting his ears pinned back and stuff like that now.
Tatey is Tatey isn’t he! he doesn’t look like a footballer but you get him on the pitch and he was brilliant, he was great with the ball, a great lad to have around the place as well, Tatey was great. He came in having a sausage sandwich on the coach and your thinking did this lad really play for Manchester united. Then he starts playing football and you realise why he was there; he was a great player.
Do you remember when Tate first signed for the Swans in division 3 and just running through the defences?
Normally we was on the half way line and Tatey was on the edge of the box waiting to get the ball of Rodge, with Rodge having a heart attack. We were used to hitting it in the channels and playing it long but him and Britts were the start of things really.
Do you think he wasn’t really given a chance in the premier league?
He never lets anyone down, if he was a couple of years younger maybe he would have been in his prime and maybe played a good few more games in the premiership with the swans.
Boundy, yes, left side of the three, I used to play along side Boundy for 2 or 3 years and I think we complimented each other well in the time we played together and kept a lot of clean sheets. He was intelligent, was a good talker and I thought we had a good combination going. He’s just a good lad, nice guy all round, off the pitch he was brilliant, always organising the lads nights out and we had a good spirit then. Solid defender one of the first names on your team sheet.
Wing backs, I’m going to go for JJ!! Jason price as right wing back, obviously in my changing room I want my lads who like a good night out and JJ was always someone who liked a good night out with us. He kept the team spirit going, he was a good lad. He has gone on to have a great career and done really well for himself.
He has hasn’t he, Jason price popped up recently in one of the Swans 11s and I was saying how he was playing on at Doncaster until he was about 37, he was playing quite late wasn’t he?
Yes he was playing on for a long time and then he went on to league of Wales then. When he played with us, if you had of said he would play centre forward we would have laughed but he’s done really well and I know he played at one of my old clubs Tranmere and he was really liked up there and Morecambe he was well liked. He’s had a good career, good energy up and down, also good for a night out but I’m not too sure about his dress sense and a few dodgy haircuts as well. There is a theme going through my dressing room isn’t there ha ha.
Left wing back
I will pick Johnny Coates at left wing back, again another great lad to have around, Coatsy was on his own really; you had to Just leave Coatsy do what he wanted to do. He would turn up to training when he wanted, he was always late so there was no point in fining him anyway because he was going to be late, possibly maybe one of the lads who could have gone away from Swansea and maybe would have kicked on with his career. There was times when I first came down that I remember there was a few scouts watching him in a few games, he was a good player, a good kid, he was hard working, always used to track back which helped me out. He had a great work rate and didn’t get the credit he deserved for that, good energy and good feet as well and a good lad. We are going to have a good Christmas party with this team!
Good mates with Mumf, yet again a good lad to have in the dressing room, I think this team would be good away from home as well because we have got a lot of players who can dig in and get a result. Mumf was a good footballer, two footed, good set piece delivery, got us goals and from corners and free kicks he was great really. He probably under performed in his career really he would probably admit that himself. You can’t take anything away from him! When he played for the swans he was excellent. Mumf, ability wise was well up there and he looks like Smithy!!!
Britts is the main man isn’t he! I remember his first couple of training sessions and this lad had turned up from West Ham, this young kid and you just couldn’t get the ball of him, between him and Andy Robinson in training I think they had the ball for about 45 minutes. It was pointless anyone else being there they were so good, Leon Britton and Mumf would be the two holding midfielders, I think that was the good thing with Mumf when he was fit, he could really get around the pitch so I would have them two pulling the strings for me.
Are you surprised to see Leon playing in the premiership now or not?
Not really, the only surprise really was Sheffield United because at the time it was a good move for him but the type of team Sheffield United was at the time they were a long ball side which wouldn’t suit Britts but at the end of the day Britts is a great lad who has always got time for you and no one has a bad word about him and again; he likes a night out as well. it’s all about team spirit. It’s like Leicester now, they have a great team spirit and I think it helps moral and makes a massive difference, you have got to have a good dressing room as well.
I spoke to Trunds about this before and I think he is one of the players with the most ability I have ever seen, ability wise he was probably the best player I played with when I was at Swansea. He came from the same area as I did. I was surprised that he wasn’t playing for Leeds more because I would definitely have said that he could have played at a higher level, he was two footed, lovely balance again, scored goals from free kicks. You can imagine there would be a few fights for free kicks between him and Mumf. He was class and again another good lad to have around.
I’m not going to go for Julsey, he’s a cart Horse. I think he scored like 3 when we won the league something like that. You can’t have a centre forward scoring 3 goals!! It is shocking, he was only in the team to defend corners ha ha.
I’m going to go for Walter Boyd, a good player who liked a sneaky night out, he would like a sly night out. You would see him in the corner somewhere, you know he was one of them. He lit up the place when he was here, he was a good character to have around, he didn’t like training, didn’t like the cold weather but when he went on to the pitch, ability wise he was fantastic and it was there for everyone to see. Ability wise we had some decent strikers at the time Giovanni Savarese, Watkins and Jules. But goal scoring wise I think Walter was the natural goal scorer out of them all.
Trunds it had to be Trunds alongside him, I think Trunds speaks for himself really doesn’t he; what a player!
How exiting was it when a player like Trundle first came training?
I don’t think people gave him enough credit for his training because he was a bit overweight because he hadn’t played for a while when he came to us. But as soon as he got his kit on he trained as hard as anyone. When you have got people like Robinson, Britts, Trunds and Roberto in training it gives everyone a lift, how has mumf got in ahead of Roberto? That’s a shocker that! He was probably coming to the end when he came to us but he was a great player like a father in the dressing room Martinez was but when you play with better players it makes you play better doesn’t it!
Martin Thomas, I was good mates with Thommo. I think he was underrated really when we won the league. He had a great work rate, liked to think he was the hard man but he had ability as well. He could score a goal but a good man to have on the pitch organising everything. When you go to some tough places where you want to keep a clean sheet he was good to have about.
Lovely, Lovely lad, he was frightfully nice sometimes really, he was such a nice guy who loves his football, it is no surprise he is a manger now it’s what he always wanted.
Giovanni Savarese. Again such a nice guy, speaks about five or six languages. He was such an intelligent lad, all the wives and girlfriends loved him because he was so nice. We rocked up one day at Darlington and he was sat there on the piano playing a U2 song, he could do anything really it was sickening. Lovely lad and a great player as well, great in the air.
Johnny Hollins was a great man manager. Players wanted to run through brick walls for him but he was ruthless in his own way as well, I don’t think he was given credit for that. We had some dodgy managers, Cussack was the worst ever. He signed a 36 year old car sales man when he took over, then he had open trials at the Vetch when there was load of Swansea Sunday league players playing who turned up for trials at the vetch, our recruitment that year was class ha ha.
Big thanks to Michael Howard for this! I think Mumf would want me to mention Jeremy Kyle as you got a Smithy one in!!