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South Wales derby

The South Wales derby is a local derby between Welsh football clubs Cardiff City and Swansea City. The fixture is regarded as one of the fiercest rivalries in British football.[1] Although based in Wales, both clubs play in the English football league system and have won English honours: Cardiff the FA Cup in 1927 and Swansea the Football League Cup in 2013.

South Wales derby
South Wales derby.jpg
A South Wales derby in 2013, the first top tier meeting between the sides
LocaleWales South Wales
First meeting7 September 1912 (1912-09-07)
Swansea Town 1–1 Cardiff City
Latest meeting26 October 2019
Swansea City 1–0 Cardiff City
Next meeting11 January 2020
Cardiff City v Swansea City
StadiumsCardiff City Stadium
Liberty Stadium
Meetings total108
Most winsCardiff City (44 wins)
Most player appearancesRoger Freestone (19)
Top scorerBrayley Reynolds (8)
All-time seriesCardiff: 44
Draw: 27
Swansea: 36
Largest victoryCardiff City 5–0 Swansea Town
(6 April 1965)

The meeting between the two sides took place in 1912, in Swansea's first competitive fixture, and ended in a draw. In the pre-war era, the derby was played infrequently, particularly in the league with only eight meetings between the sides from 1912 to 1945 as the clubs were rarely in the same division. After the Second World War, football attendances rose significantly and the first derby attracted a record crowd of more than 57,000 in 1949. These high attendances continued through the 1950s, including the first derby played in a Welsh Cup final in 1956 which set a record attendance for a match in the competition. Attendances began to fall at the start of the 1960s following a downturn in the fortunes of both teams.

The 1970s saw only five derby matches, all in the Welsh Cup, before Swansea enjoyed a resurgence under the manager of John Toshack in the early 1980s. However, by the end of the decade and the early 1990s, the derby became blighted by hooliganism which led to the fixture becoming the first in Britain to ban away fans from attending. The derby experienced a resurgence at the start of the 21st century, with both teams reaching the Championship before eventually meeting in the top tier of English football for the first time in 2013.

The clubs have played each other more than 100 times in all competitions. Having begun as a friendly rivalry, the relationship between the two sides deteriorated after the 1960s which led to several high profile, violent clashes between supporters that gained the fixture a reputation as one of Britain's fiercest rivalries. Goalkeeper Roger Freestone has appeared in more derbies between the two sides than any other player, making 19 appearances for Swansea in the fixture during his career. Brayley Reynolds scored eight times for Swansea in derby matches, more than any other player. The most recent South Wales derby took place on 27 October 2019 in the EFL Championship, ending in a 1–0 win to Swansea at the Liberty Stadium.


Southern Football LeagueEdit

Chart showing the league positions of both sides since their entry into the English Football League

Cardiff City F.C. was formed in 1899 as Riverside A.F.C. by members of a local cricket club. The team competed in amateur leagues before gaining entry into the Southern Football League and turning professional in 1910.[2] With growing interest in association football in the traditionally rugby union stronghold of Swansea, the decision was taken to form a club. Swansea Town A.F.C. was founded in 1912 and gained admission into the Second Division of the Southern Football League alongside Cardiff. The two clubs faced each other for the first time on 7 September 1912, in Swansea's first competitive fixture, with the match ending in a 1–1 draw; Billy Ball gave the Swans the lead before Cardiff captain John Burton equalised.[3][4] Swansea went on to claim the first victory between the two sides five months later when they defeated Cardiff 4–2 in the semi-final of the Welsh Cup despite trailing 2–0 at half time. Cardiff lost two players to injury in the second half in a time when substitutes were not permitted, ending the match with nine players.[5] Such was the friendliness between the two sides in the early meetings that when Burton scored a bicycle kick in the match, several of his opponents stopped to shake hands with him in appreciation of the goal.[6]

Cardiff were promoted to the First Division of the Southern Football League at the end of the 1912–13 season.[7] Although the club's met in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup the following season, it would be the last competitive fixture between the two sides for six years as the Southern Football League was suspended during the First World War. Two friendlies were played in April 1919 as the clubs began to prepare for a return of competitive football at the end of hostilities with both sides winning a match each.[8] The popularity of the derby quickly became obvious as the first post First World War league fixture attracted a season high crowd of 15,500 for Swansea, who claimed a 2–1 victory, while Cardiff recorded its first victory in the return fixture on 7 February 1920, defeating the Swans 1–0 at Ninian Park following George Beare's goal. The second fixture was attended by 24,317 spectators, the largest crowd ever recorded in the Southern League at the time. A friendly was also held in October 1919 as a benefit match for Cardiff's trainer George Latham who captained his side for the fixture in a 1–1 draw.[9]

Pre-war and wartimeEdit

In 1920, in order to expand, the Football League absorbed the teams from the First Division of the Southern League. Swansea were placed into the newly created Football League Third Division but Cardiff were granted a place in the Football League Second Division after winning an election vote.[10] The split resulted in the two sides facing each other only three times between 1920 and 1929, all of which came in the Welsh Cup.[11] Cardiff enjoyed one of the most successful periods in the club's history during the 1920s, winning the 1927 FA Cup final and finishing as runners-up in both the 1925 final and the First Division in 1923–24.[12] In the 1920s the rivalry was considered more friendly and there are accounts of Swansea fans travelling to the 1927 FA Cup final in support of their neighbouring rivals.[13] Goodwill messages were also forwarded to the Cardiff team from Swansea ahead of the match.[14] Cardiff were relegated to the Second Division in 1929. This resulted in the first league meetings between the two sides for 11 years, a goalless draw in October of that year.[15] A benefit match for several Swansea players was held in April 1930 at Vetch Field and resulted in a 6–2 victory for the home side as Ronnie Williams scored five of his side's goals.[16]

Cardiff were relegated again in 1932, dropping into the Football League Third Division South.[12] As a result, the derby was played only four further times before the outbreak of the Second World War; the clubs were drawn against each other twice in the Welsh Cup, with both ties requiring a replay to decide a winner.[17] In the pre-war era, the Welsh Cup provided more meetings between the two sides than league competition with 10 derbies being played in the Welsh Cup between 1912 and 1939, two more meetings than in league fixtures. The last competitive pre-war derby took place on 23 February 1939 as Cardiff defeated Swansea 4–1 in the fifth round of the Welsh Cup following braces from Harry Egan and Tex Rickards.[18]

With football restricted during wartime, the close proximity of the two sides led to them being grouped together in regional wartime leagues. The first wartime fixture was played in August 1939 under the guise of a charity match for the Jubilee Benevolent Fund. For the 1939–40 season Cardiff and Swansea were placed in the South-West Region and played out a 2–2 draw in their first meeting..[19] In total, the teams met 42 times during wartime. Cardiff dominated competition during this period, winning 30 of the 42 meetings.[20] This included an 8–0 victory for Cardiff in a match that was dubbed the "Bluebirds Blitzkrieg" following hat tricks from Beriah Moore and Billy James.[21][22]


When the Football League resumed in the 1946–47 season, Cardiff won promotion from the Third Division South at the expense of Swansea who were relegated to the same division.[23] Despite this, Cardiff manager Billy McCandless chose to leave the club to join Swansea after receiving a lucrative offer from the rival club.[24] McCandless led Swansea back to the Second Division in 1949, resulting in the first post-war meeting of the sides on 27 August. The match was also the first league meeting between the two sides for 19 years, the longest gap between league matches in the derby's history.[5] With football enjoying a post-war attendance boom, more than 60,000 tickets were sold although only 57,510 spectators were recorded through the turnstiles at the match.[25] The figure is the biggest crowd ever recorded for a South Wales derby in which Cardiff claimed a 1–0 victory through a goal by Tommy Best.[26] The original ticket sales of 60,855 would have also been a club record for both sides; Cardiff's record home attendance is instead 57,893 against Arsenal four years later.[25] The return fixture, in December of the same year, also saw Swansea record its highest ever derby attendance with 27,264 spectators witnessing Swansea win 5–1.[26]

In 1955, Cardiff was named as the capital city of Wales. The decision, along with the perceived favouritism from UK governments believed to have been shown to the city since has been credited as the starting point of the deterioration of relations between the two sides.[27][28] In 1956, the South Wales derby was played in the final of the Welsh Cup in front of a crowd of 37,500 at Ninian Park. The attendance remains the highest ever recorded in the Welsh Cup. Cardiff went on to win the match 3–2 despite being reduced to ten men within the opening 30 minutes when forward Gerry Hitchens suffered a broken leg.[29] The following year, Cardiff recorded its first victory over Swansea at Vetch Field, winning 1–0 following a goal from Colin Hudson. The next meeting between the sides, in March 1959, resulted in Swansea achieving the same feat by winning at their rivals home ground for the first time in league competition. Mel Nurse scored the only goal of the game from a penalty, the first league goal Swansea had scored at Ninian Park.[30]

Before the 1960s the rivalry was a typically a friendly one and many fans held no animosity towards their Welsh rivals. In the area between the two cities, some fans supported both teams and matches between the sides in the post-war decade often saw opposing fans standing alongside each other on the terraces.[13] The 1960s saw that change as football culture became more aggressive and local rivalries became more important than shared regional identities.[31] The earliest trouble of note between the two teams occurred in February 1960 during a Welsh Cup sixth round tie. Cardiff were due to play a league match two days later and approached the Football Association of Wales (FAW) to postpone the match. The request was denied and in response, Cardiff manager Bill Jones named a reserve side for the fixture. Despite fielding a weakened team, Cardiff went on to win the tie 2–1 in a match that saw several confrontations. Cardiff's Colin Hudson was sent off for a foul with ten minutes remaining before his teammate Steve Mokone and Swansea's Harry Griffiths were also dismissed after wrestling each other to the ground and throwing mud in retaliation. The FAW subsequently fined Cardiff £350 for fielding a weakened side in the competition and warned the club against doing so again in future.[27][32] Swansea historian Gwyn Rees has stated that fans' animosity began to increase in the late 1960s, citing the 1969 Welsh Cup final as a turning point.[14] The match was the first derby that saw notable issues of violence between the two sets of supporters.[33] At the end of the 1969–70 season, Swansea Town changed its name to Swansea City after the area was granted city status.[34]

Lower divisions and hooliganismEdit

The appointment of John Toshack as Swansea manager in the late 1970s caused further rift between the clubs. Toshack had been born in Cardiff and began his career with the side but his subsequent success with the Swans, winning promotion from the Fourth Division to the First Division during his tenure, saw the balance of power in South Wales shift.[14] Having only played each other five times during the 1970s, all in the Welsh Cup, the two sides met in a league fixture for the first time in for 15 years in 1980. Swansea recorded a 2–1 victory with goals coming from two former Cardiff players, Toshack, in his role as player-manager, and David Giles.[35]

With the escalation of football hooliganism in the United Kingdom in the 1980s, the derbies became plagued by violence led largely by each sides hooligan firms, Cardiff's Soul Crew and Swansea's Jacks.[36][37] In September 1988, after seeing their side win in Swansea, a group of around 30 Cardiff fans were chased into the sea near Swansea Civic Centre by a group of around 50 Swansea fans. Since then, Swansea fans have adopted a "swim away" gesture , in reference to the event.[38] During an FA Cup fixture in 1992, 39 fans were arrested at Swansea's Vetch Field after clashes between supporters.[39] Significant damage was caused to local shops as well as public transport; John Williams, who played for both sides during his career, described how fans "would fight in the streets, the train station and all the way down the motorway. The fans wanted to show they were the better city."[14]

On 23 December 1993, a match between the two sides was dubbed 'The Battle Of Ninian Park' after violence erupted. The start of the match was delayed for 40 minutes as police attempted to control the rival fans. Swansea fans were placed in the grandstand for the game, seated alongside sections of Ninian Park usually frequented by families.[14] As Cardiff took the lead, Swansea fans began ripping out seats and throwing them at Cardiff supporters, which resulted in the home fans invading the pitch in an attempt to reach the away section.[39] Police were forced to use mounted officers and dog handlers to regain control.[40] The following day national news showing pictures of the violence shocked the nation, with The Times reporting that "at one point several hundred people were brawling on the pitch".[41] The violence led the FAW to ban away fans from this fixture for several years, the first fixture in Britain to do so.[42] Simon Chivers, a fan who attended the match and went on to become an intelligence officer on hooligan firms for the South Wales Police, described the scenes at the match as "the worst violence I have ever seen anywhere in my entire life."[43]

With the two teams in the Third Division, the 1990s saw frequent derby matches and several meetings in cup competitions, although poor results and frequent crowd trouble saw attendances drop; both sides recorded their lowest derby attendances in league competition between 1994 and 1996.[44] Further political divide between the two cities was caused by the Welsh devolution referendum in 1997 when Cardiff was chosen as the site for the newly created Senedd, despite the majority of the city voting against devolution.[45] Swansea, which largely voted in favour of devolution, received funding for a national swimming pool instead.[13] Alan Curtis, who played for both sides, commented, "I think Cardiff has always been perceived [...] to receive whatever funding is going around. It seems to me that everything gets channelled in that direction".[45] Away fans were eventually allowed to attend the fixture again in 1997 under strict monitoring and the introduction of 'bubble' trips, where away fans are escorted in and out of the stadium by police.[46] The two teams were split in 1999 through promotions and relegation. Although they met in a FAW Premier Cup final in 2002,[47] the two sides did not meet in the league for ten years.[48] Despite this, the rivalry still attracted attention; during their celebrations after winning the Football League Trophy in 2006, Swansea players Lee Trundle and Alan Tate brandished a Welsh flag with an anti-Cardiff message and Trundle also wore a T-shirt with an image of a Swansea City player urinating on a Cardiff City shirt.[49] The FAW stated that the images paraded at the match, which took place at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, were "of an extremely offensive and insulting nature". The two players were arrested for public order offences, fined £2,000 and handed one-match suspensions.[50] A heavy police presence was also required when Swansea fans travelled to Cardiff when they played at the Millennium Stadium in the Football League Trophy final in 2006.[51]

New erasEdit

Referee Mike Dean receiving treatment after being struck by a projectile in a 2009 South Wales derby

The first derby in just under a decade took place in the League Cup on 23 September 2008, with Swansea winning 1–0. The match saw sets of supporters from both clubs clash with police after the match.[52] A league fixture, on 5 April 2009 at Ninian Park, was marred by referee Mike Dean being hit in the head by a coin thrown from the crowd, as well as Cardiff fans clashing with police after the match.[53] The following season, on 7 November 2009, at the Liberty Stadium Swansea claimed a 3–2 victory in a match that again saw crowd disturbances as hundreds of Swansea fans waited outside the ground for the Cardiff fans to depart. This resulted in a total fifteen arrests being made during and after the match. Cardiff fans also vandalised the North Stand in which they were placed for the game for the second year in a row. Seats and toilets were vandalised, pipe work ripped from walls and doors broken in the away fans' area. The damage was reported to cost thousands of pounds. However, police praised the majority of supporters for their behaviour before, during and after the game which was attended by more than 18,000 fans.[54][55][56]

Swansea achieved promotion to the Premier League in 2011, becoming the first Welsh team to do so and the first Welsh side in the top division of English football since Cardiff were relegated from the First Division in 1962.[57] Cardiff also gained promotion in 2013. As a result, the first South Wales derby to be played in England's top division took place during the 2013–14 season.[58] Cardiff won the first ever top tier meeting between the sides 1–0 on 3 November 2013, thanks to a headed goal from ex-Swansea defender Steven Caulker.[59] Swansea went on to win the return fixture 3–0 in February 2014,[60] but Cardiff's relegation at the end of the season saw the two sides separated again. The derby was not played for a further five years as the two clubs swapped leagues before both returned to the Championship for the 2019–20 season with Swansea winning the first meeting 1–0.[61]


Results summary
From 108 competitive games:

Cardiff City 44 Wins
Swansea City 36 Wins
27 Draws

Last Result
Swansea City


Cardiff City


Wilmot ('24)

Sunday 27 October 2019
Premier League,
Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Wales
Attendance: 20,270

Tournament-wide summary, as of 27 October 2019

Competition Total Matches Cardiff Win Draw Swansea Win
League 57 19 16 22
FA Cup 1 0 0 1
League Cup 5 2 0 3
Associate Members Cup 4 1 1 2
Welsh Cup 34 21 8 7
FAW Premier Cup 2 2 0 0
Southern League 4 1 2 1
Total 108 44 27 36

Results listEdit


Key to colours and abbreviations:   Cardiff City win   Swansea City win   Draw 


Date Competition Stadium Score Cardiff City scorers Swansea City scorers Attendance
7 September 1912 SFL Division 2 Vetch Field 1–1 Jack Burton Ball 8000
15 February 1913 Welsh Cup SF Ninian Park 4–2 Cassidy (pen), Burton Ball (2, 1 pen), Grierson, Coleman 12000
15 March 1913 SFL Division 2 Ninian Park 0–0 10000
29 November 1913 FA Cup 4QR Vetch Field 2–0 Messer, Weir 12000
Cardiff City promoted to Southern Football League Division 1 1912–13
No competitive footbal was played between 1915 and 1919 due to World War I
27 September 1919 SFL Division 1 Vetch Field 2–1 Evans Sheldon (2) 15500
7 February 1920 SFL Division 2 Ninian Park 1–0 Beare 24371
24 March 1920 Welsh Cup SF Ninian Park 2–1 Evans, West Benyon 7000
Cardiff City promoted to Division 1 1920–21
21 April 1923 Welsh Cup SF Vetch Field 3–2 Davies, Clennell (2) Smith, Thompson 12000
Swansea Town promoted to Division 2 1924–25
2 March 1925 Welsh Cup 5R Vetch Field 4–0 Thompson (2), Whitehead (2) 15000
2 April 1928 Welsh Cup 6R Ninian Park 1–0 Smith 10000
Cardiff City relegated to Division 2 1928–29
5 October 1929 Division 2 Ninian Park 0–0 29093
8 February 1930 Division 2 Vetch Field 1–0 Lindsay 22121
2 April 1930 Welsh Cup 6R Ninian Park 4–0 Thirlaway, Jones, Davies, Nelson 8000
30 August 1930 Division 2 Vetch Field 3–2 Ralph Williams (2) Easton, Ron Williams (2) 20363
27 December 1930 Division 2 Ninian Park 1–0 L. Jones 24232
Cardiff City relegated to Third Division South 1930–31
9 March 1933 Welsh Cup 8R Vetch Field 1–1 Maidment Blair 3000
15 March 1933 Welsh Cup 8R (replay) Ninian Park 2–1 Maidment, Jones Martin 5000
8 February 1939 Welsh Cup 5R Ninian Park 2–2 Mckenzie, McCaughey Olsen, Bamford 4000
23 February 1939 Welsh Cup 5R (replay) Vetch Field 4–1 Egan (2), Rickards (2) Imrie 1500
No competitive football was played between 1939 and 1946 due to World War II
Cardiff City promoted to Division 2
Swansea Town relegated to Third Division South 1946–47
Swansea Town promoted to Division 2 1948–49
27 August 1949 Division 2 Ninian Park 1–0 Best 57893
24 December 1949 Division 2 Vetch Field 5–1 Stitfall Lucas (2), McCrory, O'Driscoll (2) 27264
23 February 1950 Welsh Cup 5R Vetch Field 3–0 Richards, Scrine (2) 10000
4 November 1950 Division 2 Vetch Field 1–0 Lucas 26224
24 March 1951 Division 2 Ninian Park 1–0 Marchant 41074
25 December 1951 Division 2 Vetch Field 1–1 Tiddy Baker (o.g) 19260
26 December 1951 Division 2 Ninian Park 3–0 Baker, Grant, Tiddy 46003
Cardiff City promoted to Division 1 1951–52
30 April 1956 Welsh Cup F Ninian Park 3–2 Walsh (2), McSeveney Kiley, Palmer 37500
Cardiff City relegated to Division 2 1956–57
24 August 1957 Division 2 Ninian Park 0–0 42482
21 December 1957 Division 2 Vetch Field 1–0 Hudson 19483
7 March 1959 Division 2 Ninian Park 1–0 Nurse 24450
15 April 1959 Division 2 Vetch Field 3–1 Kelly (2), Nurse (og) Webster 14893
7 November 1959 Division 2 Ninian Park 2–1 Sullivan, Bonson Webster 34881
2 February 1960 Welsh Cup 6R Vetch Field 2–1 Woods (o.g.), Knowles Reynolds 11000
26 March 1960 Division 2 Vetch Field 3–3 Joe Bonson, Moore, Walsh Reynolds (2), Hale 24004
Cardiff City promoted to Division 1 1959–60
22 March 1961 Welsh Cup SF Ninian Park 1–1 Tapscott Reynolds 10470
28 March 1961 Welsh Cup SF (replay) Vetch Field 2–1 Tapscott Reynolds (2) 11965
Cardiff City relegated to Division 2 1961–62
4 September 1962 Division 2 Vetch Field 2–1 Charles Williams, Thomas 24687
15 September 1962 Division 2 Ninian Park 5–2 P Davies (og), Charles (2), McIntosh, Hooper Williams (2) 23454
11 April 1963 Welsh Cup 6R Vetch Field 2–0 Jones, Thomas 11500
19 October 1963 Division 2 Ninian Park 1–1 Scott (pen) Evans 21417
28 March 1964 Division 2 Vetch Field 3–0 Draper, Reynolds (2) 18721
26 December 1964 Division 2 Vetch Field 3–2 Ellis (2) Todd, McLaughlin, Pound 17875
10 March 1965 Welsh Cup SF Vetch Field 1–0 Farrell 7500
6 April 1965 Division 2 Ninian Park 5–0 Allchurch (3), Charles (2) 15896
Swansea Town relegated to Division 3 1964–65
4 January 1966 Welsh Cup 5R Vetch Field 2–2 Andrews, King Murray (o.g.), Allchurch 10275
8 February 1966 Welsh Cup 5R (replay) Ninian Park 5–3 (aet) G. Williams, Johnston (2) Todd (2), H. Williams, McLaughlin, Evans 9836
Swansea Town relegated to Division 4 1966–67
17 January 1967 Welsh Cup 5R Vetch Field 4–0 Lewis, Farrell, Johnston (2) 11816
22 April 1969 Welsh Cup F (first leg) Vetch Field 3–1 Toshack (2), Nurse (o.g.) Williams 10207
29 April 1969 Welsh Cup F (second leg) Ninian Park 2–0 Toshack, Lea 12617
Swansea City promoted to Division 3 1969–70
11 March 1970 Welsh Cup SF Ninian Park 2–2 Woodruff, Toshack Evans, Williams 18050
2 May 1970 Welsh Cup SF (replay) Vetch Field 2–0 (aet) Bird, King 20400
3 January 1972 Welsh Cup 5R Vetch Field 2–0 Warboys, Clark 14319
Swansea City relegated to Division 4 1972–73
Cardiff City relegated to Division 3 1974–75
17 February 1976 Welsh Cup 6R Ninian Park 1–1 Bruton (o.g.) Bruton 5812
3 March 1976 Welsh Cup 6R (replay) Vetch Field 3–0 Clark, Alston (2) 10075
Cardiff City promoted to Division 2 1975–76
Swansea City promoted to Division 3 1977–78
Swansea City promoted to Division 2 1978–79
1 January 1980 Division 2 Vetch Field 2–1 Lewis Toshack, Giles 21306
7 April 1980 Division 2 Ninian Park 1–0 Ronson 14634
27 December 1980 Division 2 Ninian Park 3–3 Stevens, Kitchen, Buchanan Robinson, Curtis, James 21198
19 April 1981 Division 2 Vetch Field 1–1 Kitchen James 19038
Swansea City promoted to Division 1 1980–81
12 May 1982 Welsh Cup F (first leg) Ninian Park 0–0 11960
19 May 1982 Welsh Cup F (second leg) Vetch Field 2–1 Bennett Latchford (2) 15858
Cardiff City relegated to Division 3 1981–82
Cardiff City promoted to Division 2 1982–83
Swansea City relegated to Division 2 1982–83
26 December 1983 Division 2 Ninian Park 3–2 Gibbins, Vaughan, Lee Stanley (pen), Toshack 14580
21 April 1984 Division 2 Vetch Field 3–2 Smith, Owen Saunders (2), Walsh 10275
Swansea City relegated to Division 3 1983–84
Cardiff City relegated to Division 3 1984–85
20 August 1985 League Cup 1R (first leg) Ninian Park 2–1 Flynn (2) Marustik 4218
3 September 1985 League Cup 1R (second leg) Vetch Field 3–1 Farrington Randell (2), Pascoe 4621
26 December 1985 Division 3 Ninian Park 1–0 Vaughan 8375
28 January 1986 Associate Members' Cup 1R Ninian Park 2–0 McCarthy 1006
31 March 1986 Division 3 Vetch Field 2–0 Hough, Williams 6643
Cardiff City & Swansea City relegated to Division 4 1985–86
26 December 1986 Division 4 Ninian Park 0–0 11450
20 April 1987 Division 4 Vetch Field 2–0 Atkinson, Boyle (own goal) 6653
29 August 1987 Division 4 Ninian Park 1–0 Gilligan 5790
1 January 1988 Division 4 Vetch Field 2–2 Ford, Gilligan Allon, Raynor 9560
Cardiff City & Swansea City were promoted to Division 3 1987–88
30 August 1988 League Cup 1R (first leg) Ninian Park 1–0 Thornber 6241
20 September 1988 League Cup 1R (second leg) Vetch Field 2–0 Wheeler, Boyle 6987
6 December 1988 Associate Members' Cup 1R Ninian Park 2–0 Curtis, Gilligan 2986
26 December 1988 Division 3 Ninian Park 2–2 Gilligan (2) Puckett, Davies 10675
27 March 1989 Division 3 Vetch Field 1–1 Gilligan Raynor 9201
26 December 1989 Division 3 Vetch Field 1–0 Barnard 12244
16 April 1990 Division 3 Ninian Park 2–0 Hughes, Wade 8356
Cardiff City relegated to Fourth Division 1989–90
16 November 1991 FA Cup 1R Vetch Field 2–1 Blake Gilligan, Harris 13516
19 November 1991 Associate Members' Cup 1R Vetch Field 0–0 2955
18 February 1992 Welsh Cup 5R Vetch Field 1–0 Pike 7303
Cardiff City promoted to Second Division 1992–93
19 January 1993 Associate Members' Cup 1R Ninian Park 2–1 Blake Legg, Hayes 13516
22 December 1993 Second Division Ninian Park 1–0 Thompson 9815
2 April 1994 Second Division Vetch Field 1–0 Penney 3711
14 April 1994 Welsh Cup SF (first leg) Vetch Field 2–1 Stant (2) Cornforth 3286
28 April 1994 Welsh Cup SF (second leg) Ninian Park 4–1 Fereday, Bird, Stant, Millar (pen) McFarlane 5606
Cardiff City relegated to Third Division 1994–95
11 April 1996 Welsh Cup SF (first leg) Vetch Field 1–0 Millar 2654
2 May 1995 Welsh Cup SF (second leg) Ninian Park 0–0 4227
Swansea City relegated to Third Division 1995–96
3 December 1996 Third Division Ninian Park 3–1 White Ampadu, Jones, Thomas 3721
2 March 1997 Third Division Vetch Field 1–0 Haworth 4430
2 November 1997 Third Division Ninian Park 1–0 Walker 6459
8 March 1998 Third Division Vetch Field 1–1 Fowler Coates 5621
Cardiff City promoted to Second Division 1998–99
22 November 1998 Third Division Vetch Field 2–1 Williams Thomas, Bound 7757
2 March 1999 FAW Premier Cup QF Ninian Park 3–2 Thomas, Eckhardt, Williams Alsop, Casey 2333
18 April 1999 Third Division Ninian Park 0–0 10809
Cardiff City relegated to Third Division 1999–2000
Swansea City promoted to Second Division 1999–2000
Cardiff City promoted to Second Division 2000–01
Swansea City relegated to Third Division 2000–01
13 May 2002 FAW Premier Cup F Ninian Park 1–0 Kavanagh 6629
Cardiff City promoted to First Division 2002–03
Swansea City promoted to League One 2004–05
Swansea City promoted to Championship 2007–08
23 September 2008 League Cup 1R Liberty Stadium 1–0 Gómez 17,411
30 November 2008 Championship Liberty Stadium 2–2 Ledley, McCormack Pratley, Pintado 18,053
5 April 2009 Championship Ninian Park 2–2 Chopra, McCormack Dyer, Allen 20,156
7 November 2009 Championship Liberty Stadium 3–2 Bothroyd, Hudson Dyer, Pratley (2) 18,209
3 April 2010 Championship Cardiff City Stadium 2–1 Chopra (2) Orlandi 25,130
7 November 2010 Championship Cardiff City Stadium 1–0 Emnes 26,049
6 February 2011 Championship Liberty Stadium 1–0 Bellamy 18,280
Swansea City promoted to Premier League 2010–11
Cardiff City promoted to Premier League 2012–13
3 November 2013 Premier League Cardiff City Stadium 1–0 Caulker 27,463
8 February 2014 Premier League Liberty Stadium 3–0 Routledge, Dyer, Bony 20,402
Cardiff City relegated to Championship 2013–14
Cardiff City promoted to Premier League 2017–18
Swansea City were relegated to Championship 2017–18
Cardiff City relegated to Championship 2018–19
27 October 2019 Championship Liberty Stadium 1–0 Wilmot 20,270

Player recordsEdit


Swansea goalkeeper Roger Freestone has appeared in more competitive South Wales derbies than any other player. He made his first derby appearance while on loan to the club from Chelsea in December 1989.[62] He signed for Swansea on a permanent basis in 1991 and went on to feature in 19 derbies. His final derby appearance was a 1–0 defeat during the 2002 FAW Premier Cup final.[63] Three players are tied for the second most derby apperances; Alan Harrington and Herbie Williams both made 17 appearances for one club, Cardiff and Swansea respectively, while Ivor Allchurch played in derbies during spells with both sides.[64] Allchurch and Freestone both made a record 11 derby league appearances, tied with Ron Stitfall.[44]

Ranking Player Derby appearances[a] Club
1 Roger Freestone 19 Swansea City
2= Ivor Allchurch 17 Swansea Town & Cardiff City
2= Alan Harrington 17 Cardiff City
2= Herbie Williams 17 Swansea Town
5 Ron Stitfall 16 Cardiff City


Brayley Reynolds has scored more goals in competitive South Wales derbies than any other player. He began his career with Cardiff in 1956 but joined Swansea in 1959 and scored his first derby goal the following year in a Welsh Cup match. He went on to score in his next three derbies, including two braces.[65] His final goals in a derby match was a third brace during a 3–0 victory for Swansea at Vetch Field in March 1964,[66] ending his career with eight goals against Cardiff.[44] Ronnie Williams tallied one less during his career, scoring seven times for Swansea, while Jimmy Gilligan scored six times in spells with both Swansea and Cardiff. George Johnston is the highest scoring Cardiff player, he scored four times all of which came in the Welsh Cup. Gilligan scored more league goals in the fixture than any other player with five of his goals being scored in the Football League.[44]

Ranking Player Derby goals[a] Club
1 Brayley Reynolds 8 Swansea Town
2 Ronnie Williams 7 Swansea Town
3= Jimmy Gilligan 6 Cardiff City & Swansea Town
3= Herbie Williams 6 Swansea Town
5= George Johnston 4 Cardiff City
5= John Toshack 4 Cardiff City & Swansea City
  1. ^ a b Excludes friendly and wartime fixtures.

Players for both clubsEdit

Transfers between the two sides are relatively rare, the last player to move directly across the South Wales derby divide was Warren Feeney who was loaned to Swansea from Cardiff for a brief spell in 2007.[67] The last player to complete a permanent transfer between the sides was Dave Penney who moved from Swansea to Cardiff in 1997.[68]

In the 1950s and 60s, the two sides saw several players feature for both sides during their careers, including some of the most noted Welsh players of the era, such as Trevor Ford, Ivor Allchurch and Mel Charles.[28][69] However, as the animosity between the two clubs has worsened, players have sometimes received a hostile reception when playing for both sides of the divide. Dave Penney captained Swansea during the 1997 Football League Third Division play-off Final and made over 100 appearances for the club before joining Cardiff. Despite this, ahead of his first return to Vetch Field in 2004, he stated that he "expected stick" on his return, adding "Moving from one Welsh club to the other is regarded as the ultimate sin down there."[68] Andy Legg joined Cardiff in 1998 having played for Swansea earlier in his career and initially struggled to win over Cardiff fans. When he attempted to celebrate his first goal for the club in front of home fans, he was met with abuse and even received a razor blade in the mail. He later stated, "I'd say the hatred between (Cardiff and Swansea) fans [...] was the most intense I have come across."[70] The rivalry is prevalent among the club's staff as well as fans, David Giles has described how he was warned away from speaking to former friends at Swansea when arriving at the ground as a Cardiff player.[13]

Newport rivalryEdit

Newport County are also a South Wales rival, regarding both Cardiff City and Swansea City as rivals, but particularly Cardiff for reasons of proximity and historic rivalry between the two cities. The clubs' relative league positions meant that Newport have rarely played Cardiff or Swansea since 1989, though they have faced each other in cup competitions. A survey by Football Fans Census in 2003 saw Swansea, Bristol City and Newport listed as Cardiff's main three rivalries, with Stoke City matching Newport in third. Swansea meanwhile regarded Cardiff, Bristol City and Bristol Rovers as their main rivals.[71]


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  3. ^ Hayes 2003, p. 5
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  7. ^ Lloyd 1999, p. 46
  8. ^ Hayes 2003, pp. 16–17
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  • Hayes, Dean P. (2003), The South Wales Derbies, Manchester: The Parrs Wood Press, ISBN 1903158435
  • Lloyd, Grahame (1999), C'mon City! A Hundred Years of the Bluebirds, Seren, ISBN 1854112716

Further readingEdit