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Players with FA League Cup, 1969
Swindon Town's 1969 Homecoming
In 1969, 40 years ago, Swindon celebrated Town's win over Arsenal at Wembley in the League Cup. Points West filmed the celebrations.
In a game that attracts a high number of clichés, Swindon’s match against Arsenal was truly a David-and-Goliath battle.
In 1969, Swindon were lying second in the Third Division while their opponents Arsenal were riding high in the First.
Shining star Don Rogers was to become a legend as a result of his performance during the game.
He had already been described as one of the most sought after players in the country and Swindon seemed confident they could deliver the goods with Rogers’ track record and helped by their one and only international Rod Thomas.
Swindon Town fans in Regents Circus
The two sides faced numerous challenges; as well as Swindon’s opponents complaining of illness affecting their team’s strength, the Wembley pitch was worse for wear too, thanks to a recent Horse of the Year Show!
However, undeterred, the two sides went to meet each other in the presence of HRH Princess Margaret, with memories of the year before when Arsenal faced Leeds United in the final and lost 1-0.
In the first half, Swindon took the lead thanks to an easy run past the Arsenal defence by Roger Smart.
Manager, Danny Williams
An equaliser towards the end of the match by Bobby Gould forced the game into extra time, during which two goals from Don Rogers brought Swindon’s FA League Cup Final to a conclusion.
Understandably, the Wiltshire town was ecstatic and the borough council laid on a civic reception and heroes’ welcome to help celebrate their team’s 3-1 victory over Arsenal.
It made for some impressive pictures – the following day, on Sunday 16th March 1969, a crowd of 8000 gathered in Regent’s Circus, as the players emerged onto the balcony of the Town Hall - more reminiscent of royalty or The Beatles than Third Division FA League Cup winners!
The Mayor, Alf Brown, raised a glass to the Club and called for “promotion” – which Swindon achieved after failing to lose any of their nine remaining matches. A draw at Rotherham saw the Town advance confidently into the Second Division.
It was a momentous time for Swindon and one that has never been equalled.
Don Rogers remains a hero for today’s fans, many of who hope and pray that Swindon Town FC will be back to Wembley before too long – however long that may be!
On Sunday 8th March 2009 a special dinner was held in the Winner's Lounge suite at Swindon's County Ground. The event - which saw a reunion of most of the 1969 STFC squad who played at Wembley - was in celebration of the 40 year anniversary of the club's greatest triumph.
last updated: 18/03/2009 at 12:22
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Michael O'Hara Goalkeeper SwindonTown Promotion Sq
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