Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Swim Away

For years now, Swansea fans have been goading Cardiff with the animated breast stroke action, and the "swim away" chant. As it happens, I was a participant in the scenes that inspired the taunt.

It was Christmas time in the early nineties I think. In another spontaneous decision, I had made my way to Cardiff station to catch the train to the Vetch. But, unbeknown to me and dozens of other Cardiff fans, the trains weren't running that day. Not to worry - I offered a lift to a couple of lads from Ely and off we drove.

I don't remember much about the game itself, but I do remember that for some reason, probably the lack of public transport, that the City following was very poor that day. It was a low key affair, and the police let us out immediately after the whistle, which was unusual in those days.

As we walked across to the Courts car park, I could see a large mob of Swansea had gathered and were deciding on their best course of action. I looked around, and the Cardiff fans consisted of kids and families with the odd group of spotty fanzine writers. Swansea charged.

I'm not ashamed to say that I ran. Shat myself in fact. There was a mob coming straight for me and I ran into the law courts. To my horror, I found myself up a blind alleyway with no way out. I turned around, fully expecting a nightmare scenario, only to find myself quite alone. I peered round the corner, and saw the Swansea lads chasing a group of 'Diff towards the sea.

The car park was mayhem now. The police were conspicuous by their absence, and pockets of fans were fighting all over the place. I made it to the car where my new friends from Ely were eagerly waiting my arrival.

I found out later that those City fans had been chased into the sea by the Jacks and stayed there until they were able to be rescued by the late arrival of the police. And that is the origin of the "swim away" chant.

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