I'll begin the New Year with another offering of what has now become something of an AFTER YOU'VE GONE staple - the study of what is most commonly known as 'Faces in the Crowd'. This time it is courtesy of Swansea City Football Club between the years 1975/76 to 1978/79. During these seasons, when The Swans were in Division 4 and then promoted to Division 3, their 'Official Match Day Magazine' presented black and white photos of fans standing on the terraces.
Just like my previous explorations into these intriguing images of 'Faces in the Crowd', the circle around the head of a selected fan - though out of context looks rather sinister - actually meant they'd won a prize of a couple of complimentary tickets to the next home game. It also meant that many decades on, we have a captivating insight into the fashions of the day sported by Swansea fans on the terraces of the Vetch Field (which would be their home ground until 2005, when the club moved to the all-seated Liberty Stadium).
My previous 'Faces in the Crowd' posts dated from 1956/57 (Derby County), 1961/62 (Leyton Orient), 1968/69 & 1969/70 (Millwall). Here in South West Wales of the mid to late 1970s, we get a candid snapshot of match days from Summer to Autumn, to Winter to Spring. The high waisted flared trousers, the mutton chop sideburns, the white and black bobble hats and scarves, the anoraks, the track suit tops - and not a replica shirt in sight.
Compared to the kitted-out world of today's fandom, the terraced landscape still looks as spartan as it did back in the 1950s. Though one thing is for sure - the flat cap had by now been consigned to history (though if you look hard enough, you can still spot one or two...)
|Youths in white flares more interested in the grub than the game.. Published in the Swansea City v Scunthorpe United programme, Saturday 27th September 1975|
|Season 1976-77. Here comes the Summer!|
|Watching their team, Football League Division Three, 1978/79|
|From Swansea v Exeter City, Friday 20th February 1976. A light touch with the dark circle on this one.|
|April 1977, and this time a much chunkier circle - in white|
|The 1978/79 Season kicked off with a Football League Cup match versus Newport County. So this photo dated back to the previous season when The Swans won promotion to Division 3. Note the two tone circle!|
|Smiling faces in a packed crowd looking at the camera - now spot the circle...|
|1978. Two grandstand tickets to the man in the duffle coat who isn't looking down the camera lens.|
I am keen to hear from readers if they know which other clubs published a regular 'Face in the Crowd' feature in their programmes. It would be great to keep this theme going...