Royston Harry "Roy" Swinbourne (25 August 1929 – 27 December 2015) was an English footballer who played as a centre forward in the Football League for Wolverhampton Wanderers. He was capped once by England B.
|Full name||Royston Harry Swinbourne|
|Date of birth||25 August 1929|
|Place of birth||Denaby Main, Yorkshire, England|
|Date of death||27 December 2015(aged 86)|
|Place of death||Kidderminster, England|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
After proving himself in the reserve ranks, he made his debut on 17 December 1949 in a 1–1 draw with Fulham. He came to the fore during the 1950–51 season, replacing Jesse Pye in the attack, and finished as top goalscorer with 22 goals. Injuries waylaid him the following year, but in the next campaign, forming what was described as "a potent dual spearhead" with Dennis Wilshaw, he was once again the club's leading scorer with 21 goals.
His tally of 24 in the 1953–54 season was a career best and helped Wolves capture their first ever league championship. It was Swinbourne himself who scored twice in the final game, a 2–0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur that confirmed the title. The following season brought another strong return, including two goals in Wolves' famous floodlit victory over Honved of Hungary.
In 1955 he scored for England B in a 1–1 draw against their German counterparts:
Swinbourne too, in spite of limited support, showed that he is a dashing centre-forward who knows where the goal lies. He scored his side's goal and but for three really great diving saves by Kubsch would have snatched the victory himself.
His career was halted when he damaged his knee while hurdling over a posse of cameramen on the pitchside at Luton Town's Kenilworth Road ground in November 1955. After trying to return just weeks later, he was forced to undergo surgery on the injury. He was never able to resume his playing career and was forced to announce his retirement in May 1957.
In later life, Swinbourne lived in Kinver before moving to a nursing home in Kidderminster. He died on 27 December 2015, aged 86, following a long battle with vascular dementia. He was survived by his wife, Betty, and daughters Jayne and Helen.
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- Courtney, Barrie (21 March 2004). "England – International Results B-Team – Details". RSSSF. Retrieved 27 November 2009.
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- "Nothing Left To Chance. Ditchburn A Hero at Molineux". The Times. 26 April 1954. p. 9.
- "Wolves' Fine Double Against Continental Teams. Honved Share Fate of Spartak". The Times. 14 December 1954. p. 3.
- Fox, Norman (13 December 1998). "England's delusion of grandeur". The Independent. Retrieved 27 November 2009.
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- "More information on Billy Wright tram naming". Centro. 8 May 2008. Retrieved 27 November 2009.
- "Russian Players See Wolves Outplayed at Luton. Visitors' Optimism Unlikely To Lead To Any Complacency". The Times. 7 November 1955. p. 1.
- "Manchester United Regain League Leadership. Continuing Wolverhampton Decline in Away Matches". The Times. 5 December 1955. p. 5.
To make matters worse, both Wilshaw and Swinbourne returned to their attack at Deepdale, and both were injured once more.
- Cox, Rob (23 January 2016). "Fond farewell for Honved hero Roy". Express & Star. Wolverhampton. p. 2.
- "Wolves legend Roy Swinbourne dies aged 86". Express & Star. 27 December 2015.
- Film clip of Wolves v Honved 1954 at British Pathé