Next up in our look at former homes of football clubs, it’s Vetch Field of Swansea City until the club moved to the newly built Liberty Stadium in 2005.
The Vetch also hosted games for the Wales national football team, with 18 internationals played at the Vetch between 1921 and 1988. Other sports also found a home at the Vetch, with 8 rugby league matches played there between 1990 and 1999.
The stadium was built on a waste ground which often saw children play football on it.
The Vetch part of the name comes from a legume that was grown on the surface.
The site was owned by Swansea Gaslight Company in 1912, but was deemed surplus to requirements at the Gas Company. So Swansea Town moved in when they were established in the same year.
Vetch Field originally consisted of one covered main stand and open terraces on the other sides before getting developed gradually over the next decades.
It hit its peak attendance of 32,786 in an 1967 FA Cup Fifth Round against Arsenal. On 30 April 2005, Adrian Forbes scored the last ever league goal at the Vetch in Swansea’s 1-0 win over Shrewsbury Town. The player who scored the final goal at the Vetch was Andy Robinson, who scored the winner in a 2-1 FAW Premier Cup victory over Wrexham.
Swansea had planned to redevelop the complete ground, but financial restrictions prevented this.
By the 2000s, Vetch Field quickly deteriorated so Swansea looked to relocate and even though they were down in League One at the time, plans were made for the construction of a new “bowl” stadium.
On 23 July 2005, The Liberty Stadium was officially opened as Swansea faced Fulham in a friendly game.
The site of their former home looked to be turned into a community centre and housing estate, but these plans never happened which then saw the ground lay neglected until 2011, when it finally got demolished.
Items of memorabilia at Vetch Field, such as the stadium clock, were transferred to Swansea Museum.
For more classic photos and many memories of the ground from supporters, click onto the next page.
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