15 May ~ While Manchester City travel to Swansea today hoping to secure a Champions League spot next season, their hosts have ensured a mid-table finish this season, meaning they will start their sixth top-flight campaign in a row in August. Prior to this stint in the Premier League, the Swans had spent just two seasons in England’s top division – though the first one included an unlikely title challenge in 1981-82.

Managed by John Toshack, Swansea had not been outside the top six all season and were third, just six points behind leaders Liverpool, going into their match against Manchester City on April 17, 1982. In front of 19,212 at Vetch Field Garry Stanley scored a superb long-distance strike on 11 minutes to put Swansea ahead, before Bob Latchford turned in a Robbie James cross ten minutes before half time.

Unfortunately for Swansea they lost five of their remaining six games and slipped to sixth place in the table. They were relegated the next season and did not return to the top division until 2011. Manchester City, who had briefly topped the table in December, ended up in tenth but were also relegated the following season – though their Division One exile lasted just two years.

Related articles

From Hurst FC to Fiorentina: Uncovering the hidden history of a footballing ancestor
Peter Percival was an unassuming man who rarely spoke of his playing days at Man City in the 1930s, but family research has revealed his starring...
Toshack's Way: My journey through football by John Toshack
DeCoubertin Books, £20Reviewed by Huw RichardsFrom WSC 385, April 2019Buy the book Given that John Toshack turns 70 on March 22, one might assume...
Focus on Georgi Kinkladze: Manchester City's jinking Georgian genius
He spent seven seasons in English football and was relegated three times, but it was the playmaker's flashes of brilliance that stood him apart from...

Sign up to the WSC Weekly Howl - a small portion of despair and enlightenment delivered to your inbox every Friday