Roger Freestone

Goalkeeper

I have to go for myself! I could take penalties as well. Longevity, loyalty, scored a couple of goals, I had a good rapport with the supporters and enjoyed myself down there.

Can you confirm or deny reports you used to go for a shit before a game and wipe your ass with your gloves and shake hand with the opposition goalkeeper?

I never used to wipe my ass…… there was only one changing room at the vetch that was it and I used to spend most of my time in there on a match day. There was always a big queue outside. No I would not do that, I was a good pro in some aspects; I was a good pro.

Right Back

I played with so many players because I was there for a good while I mean Des Lyttle, Steve Jenkins, Steve Jones. But for commitment I will go Steve Jones because he would go through a brick wall for anybody. He came from non league, the same as Des Lyttle came from non League. There was such a difference in the two players, where as Steve Jones would kick the shit out of you in the nicest possible way and he was hard as nails as well. The amount of injuries he used to pick up playing for Swansea City was unbelievable. Jenks and Des both went on and had a good career but unfortunately Jones didn’t progress after Swansea city because off his injuries, plus he was my roommate and he made a good cup of tea as well. I will go for Steve Jones for being as tough as he was and he wasn’t a bad footballer as well.

Left back

Fordy! John Ford, another one who game from non league and who had the hunger, he was strong and fit and had a fantastic left foot. Was snapped up by Frankie Burrows, he was fantastic at picking up the talent he picked up at non league level it was unbelievable.

Centre Halves

Keith Walker and Mathew Bound, I think that Keith was very underrated as a footballer. He was not the tallest but he always gave 100%, he was a very talented footballer passing wise and he read the game very well, that would be the reason I would put Keith in. I played behind Keith for quite a few years and the same with Bound, Bound was a very talented centre half who won everything in the air and they were two great old fashioned centre halves.

Leon Britton on the left wing. When he first came to us I thought are you having a laugh he was about 5 foot and weighed about 8 stone, In league two I thought ‘no chance’ but what he has done at the club is unbelievable, he seems to be playing some of the best football of his career at the moment under Curtis, He seemed to have got frozen out a bit under Monk which was a shame but he is playing some great stuff under Curtis. Obviously Britts has been at the club 10 or 11 years and what can you say about Leon. When he first came to the club I remember everybody looking and going ‘this young lad is not going to be strong enough for the third division’ but he proved everybody wrong and he’s still there now playing premier league football. He’s been an absolutley fantastic servant to Swansea city.

He was ripping defences apart in League 1 and league 2 do you think he was ready for the premier league when he came to us?

I don’t think he was ready then, I think the more games he played I think the more confidence he got, He was a quiet lad when he turned up. The one disappointment for Leon would be that he left but I think that was because he had a disagreement with the manager at the time and Swansea were very happy to have him back and Since Garry Monk has gone he has been instrumental to the club and has been playing some of the best football of his career.

I remember Leon when we won the play off final, and we went from 3-0 to 3-2 and they hit the post and everybody was panicking on the ball and Leon was picking the ball up as calm as can be from deep in our half, do you see that in him?

Yeah he grew in confidence and obviously having been at a premier league club before us he is going to have the calmness and the ability that he has, it’s just bred into them, all he needed was the confidence to play week in week out and that is what the club has given him and like I said the more games he has played the more confidence he has got.

Right Midfielder

Hodgey; John Hodge, I will stick with Hodgey on the right as he was obviously a fantastic player. Fitness wise he was superb, fantastic crosser of the ball, he got up and down the wing. He could put the ball on a sixpence. He had a superb crossing ability, it was out of him and Jason Bowen but (I’m not going with) Bowes because he was just a bit lazy; he never used to track back and I know Frankie Burrows used to throw his cap down in disgust sometimes at Bowes but that was just the way he was, so lacksie-dazey. But Hodgey was up and down, he was a strong very good player. His crossing and tracking back was fantastic.

Centre Midfield, I am going to go with Corny; John Cornforth, I played with Cornforth for quite a few years, he was absolutely fantastic and as a captain he was superb when it came to talking to the players calming the players down, he got on superbly with the supporters, he was captain Marvel. He was an unbelievable talent, it was a shame that he left the football club but he went on to better himself and when he left we did miss him because he was an absolutely fantastic player.

 

I was going to go with Martinez alongside Cornforth but I am going to take out Roberto only because we need someone who is a bit of a dog in there, to work hard and win the ball back for Corny to spread the ball around because like I said free kick wise and pinging a ball corny could ping the ball anywhere he wanted to so I am going to go with Lee Jenkins. It might be a bit of a dubious choice for some people but Jenks when he was playing under Jan Molby, if he had not of had an injury, I think Jenks would of gone on and played in the Premier League. He was absolutely fantastic, his fitness levels and he was as hard as nails. In my eyes he was such an under rated player, I can see everything that goes on on the football pitch and the way he worked was amazing. It was such a shame that he had a massive injury and it knocked his confidence and he was never the same player unfortunately and when Flynn came in he offloaded him to Kidderminster, but Jenks could have gone on to play premier league football for definite.

Strikers Lee Trundle

Obviously you have to put Trunds in there because he was fantastic, skill wise I have never seen anybody like him. The things he used to do in the third division was frightening, he just made it look so simple. Even training he was such a hard player to play against in training, his all round game was fantastic, trunds could do anything. How he stayed at Wrexham for so long I don’t know, especially with all the teams up North where he was. I was amazed that he had not gone on to play higher earlier in his career because he was fantastic; absolutely fantastic.

Does someone like Trundle lift training moral when you have got someone coming in to training and playing the way he did?

It was horrible to train against him because obviously the tricks and everything, you’ve seen what he done on the football pitch it was just fantastic. He wasn’t the greatest trainer in the world but what he did bring was trickery, if someone had a trick he had to do it better or he would have to learn a new trick, that’s the sort of person he was, the amount of goals he scored for Swansea city was fantastic.

Julian Alsop

What can we say about stinky?

He’s said plenty about you to us Roger!!

If you went to war, you would want somebody like him in the trenches with you because he was just a horrible gangly hard footballer and if you pinged a ball up in the air you would guarantee that 9 times out of 10 he would win the header. He would come back at corners, he would work his socks off, he’s a lovely fella. You look at him on the pitch and  he was horrible, he was aggressive, dirty, the sort of player you want on your team, the other centre halves nightmare. Funny also when John Hollins was in charge he turned up to training with a pair of wellies and a mackintosh and that was it, nothing else and he ran round for an hour and John Hollins just accepted it; that was the way it was and if it made Jules happy, a happy Jules meant he would score goals for the club. We used to travel back and for, there was a few of us, Jules and Smudger and Jonah and we used to travel across the bridge and we would meet in the Swans company car that I had. The things that went on in that car, you would never get away with it now. I remember Aidan Newhouse, Corky signed him and he was as flash as can be and my company car by the way was a G reg siera and they updated that to a 2 litre mitsubishi corisma S reg but I didnt care as long as I had a car to get back and for from work. Anyway I used to let Jules drive it now and then and off course Addie Newhouse truned up with his brand new BMW and we have gone in to the car park at fairwood and Jules as gone round the corner handbreak up, spraying all the chippings against Addie Newhouses car there was chips and dents all over the car but that was the sort of thing we used to do, Great days absolultey fantastic.

 

 

Bench

Martinez is going to go on the bench, Corny used to pull a hamstring every 60 or 70 minutes so we would stick Roberto on the bench to take over as skipper form Corny. Roberto come to the club in difficult circumstances he was a teriffic player on a par with Corny. A very skillfull player, very inteligant player who had a fantastic career.Martinez and Cornforth, Two quality players meybe the only thing both of them were lacing was a bit of pace, Perhaps that is why they didnt make it to the very higest level, Cornforth I know played at Birminghmam but they were to exceptional players.

 

I am going to go with Jason smith another centre half, Teeth like a bag of spanners that boy. I tell you what he come from non league and was the sort of person that would drop your grandmother to get the ball. He was rock hard, he was so ugly that I think the other centre halves used to look at him and think jeseus christ, but he was another one couldnt trap a bag of cement smudge, shanked everything. But used to win every header, the thing you wouldnt want to do was get to close to him when he was eating especially if he started talking, he would spray it all over you. He is a lovelly guy smudge lovelly guy.

 

My final sub Is Walter Boyd, a fantastic signing, I tel you what Johnny Hollins how he made that signing I dont know, all he knew was the m4 then all of a sudden Walter Boyd turns up from Jmacia. A Jamacian international, I remember one day we turned up training and it was freezing cold and I have never seen so much snot coming from someone in my life he was just shivering. But he was a great player he was a very good player I think he was used to playing with better players than we were but he scored some great goals for us and he did very well with us.

 

Manager

It was a choice between Jan Molby and Frankie Burrows, jan I could put Jan in the team because he was still that good he was absolutley quality. For his size you never would belive how fit the man was, I mean when he came to the club I remember thinking pre season is going to be a dodle. He had us in at 6am. Swimming 6 until 8 and then training from 9.30 until 12.30 and then training from half 1 until 4. it was a nightmare onestly it was. Its completley changed now I mean pre season we used to just run our bollocks off. Now its all short sharp all the time. So I am going to put Jan as my manager and Billy as my assistant. Jan had all the success but Billy done all the work, he was superb absolutley superb. I always remember once when we come back pre season and I didnt play one game, there was about 11 or 12 games pre season and I didnt play any. I thought jesues christ and I started to pppanic. Lee jones who was a very goood goalkeeper, would of beenm number one anywhere else he played every pre season game and it was the friday before we played Brighton at home start of the season and I was getting frustrated and I told Billy to fuck off and I always remember no matter what the weather he would wear shorts and a tishirt that was it and he came marching over to me grabbed hold of me and said you tel me to fuck off once more and me and you will be going behind there and sorting it out. I fucking shit myself, I did I shit myself. Then he said get yourself ready for tomorrow that was all he said to me. Bear in mind I had not played any football at all, I had not played any football for 12 weeks, but I played aginst brighton and we won 1-0. I dont know what it was I think it was kidology thing, I felt sorry for the young goalkeeper but then he put me in. I just thought I lost my first team spot I was not going to ask for a transfer or anything I was just going to fight hard to get it back but it was strange I played all the games then.

 

You were Mr Swansea Rodge, was there any manager that came in and perhaps wanted to make a mark or a point by leaving you out?

Corky came in didnt he, corky came in and he wanted to sign Mark Wallton Ronny Waltons boy, I had a phone call from the evening post one sundaythey told me what was happening, I said if they want me to get rid of me they will have to pay me out. There was times I could of left the club, christ all mighty I remember one time going in to training and Jan said get yourself home I said why he said Man city have just bought you £600,000 when Stevie Copell was in charge, he said get yourself home wait for a phone call. I went home waited for a phone call, I didnt want to leave but in the end the deal was off, man city wanted to play in installments but the club wanted it all up front so that was that. The other time was when QPR Wanted to sign me, it was halloween and I went over my friends for a party. Tony Petty was in charge and he had only been there two weeks. QPR Offerd me £50,000 a year by the end of the evening at 10.30 it had gone up to £156,000 a year on a three and a half year contract. But I just said no I dont want to go, they must of thought I was a greedy barstard because I just kept saying no. my kids were young I had been to London when I was with Chelsea and I didnt want to go back there again, I said no I dont want to go. But in tersm of been paid half a million quid over three years or staying at Swansea and not been payed for three or four months it was just the way it was, I could never see myself playing for anyone else, when I left Swansea to go back to Newport I lasted three months, I didnt want to play anymore I just knocked it on the head and retired.

 

 

Do you think know players cant get away with anything anymore?

I think part of the problem now is the footballers think that they are bigger and better than anything, they get paid huge amounts of money so certain footballers think their above the law. They are out of touch from the real world and that was never the case with us. I used to serve in the club shop, I used to go over with Mira and Marlenne and serve the supporters for an hour and then go and play the game. The players are sort of special now there a different sort of breed oof footballers, they are all millionaires, Its quite daunting now I have been down a couple of times and in all fairness Britts hasnt changes at all but to me to meet the other players it would scare me because they are on a different sort of level than I ever was. There like athletes now there super fit, but I think some of them treat people differently not all players but some players look down on people but what they have got to remember is that these common people as we are pay their wages, without the supporters the club would be nothing.

 

How importtant do you think it is to have people Like Curtis Trundle, it would be great to have yourself at the swans alo!! these kind of players who are Swans Legends. Do you think it is important to have these pleyesr so new players coming in can look at previous players Who are legends at the club to remind them that they are not yet?

Yeah but you know football moves on and people forget and you have a new breed of legend coming thorugh with internationals and premier league players, so they are a different breed than the likes of Curt. Curtis I think is probably the best player to play for Swansea even now. Curtis still in my eyes is the best player to ever play for the club. He will be there until he dies and that is absolutley fantastic, I dont think he wants the managers job persoanlly but I think he was put in a possition where he has no choice.

 

Do You go to the liberty at all when was the last time you got down to watch the swans?

I havent been this season, I dont go very often but ime going to start taking my grandson and mys son whos only four years older. My son was a season ticket holder for 3 or 4 years he used to go dwon, hes Swansea mad he is. But in fairness I go down sometimes and they look after my wife and my really well, we will probably go down before the end of the season we will go down.

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