Where Are They Now? Swindon Town’s League Cup semi-finalists 1979-80

By Neil Fissler

THE greatest day in the history of Swindon Town came in March 1969 when they became only the second Third Division club to win the League Cup.

Goals from Bobby Gould and a Don Rogers double in extra time enabled Swindon to pull off a surprise 3-1 win over Arsenal at Wembley – and it’s still celebrated to this day.

Russell Lewis, who played centre-back in 1979-80, says the League Cup Final triumph remained fresh in the memories of everyone.

“When we got to the semi-final [of the League Cup], there was a bit of talk about 1969, but we didn’t feel any added pressure. We had our hands full in playing against quality teams.”

The Robins were on the Wembley trail again after despatching Portsmouth, Chester, first division Stoke after a replay and Wimbledon.

In the quarter final, ironically they were drawn to face Arsenal at Highbury.

Billy Tucker earned them a replay after Alan Sunderland had given the Gunners an early lead. The replay at the County Ground was a cliff-hanger.

Swindon went 2-0 up and then 3-1, thanks to own goals from Steve Walford and John Hollins and an Alan Mayes strike. Arsenal hit back through Liam Brady’s second of the game and Brian Talbot, who took the game into extra time only for Andy Rowland to slam home the winner.

“If you have a look at the team sheet not many people gave us a chance at Arsenal because they had quite a strong team at the time,” said Lewis.

“Highbury was a top stadium and I’ll always remember the heated floor in the dressing room, but the atmosphere at the County Ground for the return game was electric.

“It was incredible with more than 21,000 packed in. To get that many at the County Ground was almost unheard of.

“We were coasting in that game and, when Arsenal equalised, I thought our chance had come and gone but Andy Rowland – what a player!”

The win over Arsenal secured a semi-final against Wolverhampton Wanderers, with Rowland and Mayes giving them a 2-1 win in the first leg at Swindon.

A week later, Bobby Smith’s side went out of the FA Cup after a fourth-round replay at Tottenham

They then lost the semi-final second leg at Molineux 3-1, with Ray McHale scoring from the penalty spot.

After that, the season went into freefall and they finished an unhappy tenth.

“The most disappointing game was at Wolves after we’d won at home. We were denied a penalty and then Wolves went on to score a dubious goal,” said Lewis.

“Then, Alan Mayes was going through and Paul Bradshaw made an horrendous challenge on him which sticks out in my mind.

“Wolves went on to win the League Cup against Nottingham Forest, while we had a holiday to Spain and then struggled to win a game and missed out on promotion.”watn-graphic-swindon-town-1979

  1. Wilf Tranter: The former assistant manager settled in Swindon and has had business interests in property development and care homes.
  2. Brian Williams: The full-back worked in Hereford’s commercial department, spending 15 years as Shrewsbury’s community officer until retiring in 2015
  3. Kenny Stroud: The midfielder, a ball boy at the 1969 League Cup Final, settled in Swindon and runs a guest house. His son, David, also played for the Robins.
  4. Russell Lewis: The central defender became a bricklayer in Northampton but has worked on the Cobblers Community Scheme for the last 23 years.
  5. John Templeman: The full-back coached in Sweden, then worked in insurance in his native Sussex, where he also managed a sports centre.
  6. Jimmy Allan: Goalkeeper who worked as a sales rep for a box manufacturing company and has been director of a Devon-based property company.
  7. Kevin Roberts: A goalkeeper who is now living and working in his native Bristol.
  8. Chris Ogden: A goalkeeper, like his father Fred, who also played for Oldham, he became a depot manager for a wine and sprit company.
  9. Andy Ford: A full-back who has managed Gravesend & Northfleet, Welling and Maidstone and ran Aford Awards, a sports trophy business in Kent.
  10. Billy Tucker: Central defender who settled in the Swindon area where he was an accountant in Old Town until retiring.
  11. Chris Kamara: A midfielder who spent time in the Navy. He managed Bradford and Stoke before becoming a media pundit with Sky Sports.
  12. Roy Carter: The midfielder returned to his native Cornwall, where he became a golf instructor.
  13. Bob Smith: Later managed Newport and Swansea, as well as coaching at Cardiff City, Hereford and Sheffield Wednesday, until his retirement in 1999.
  14. Bryan Hamilton: The Northern Ireland midfielder spent 20 years in management and took charge of his country. He works in the media.
  15. Paul Gilchrist: The forward ran a fitness club in Swindon but now lives near Tunbridge Wells, working for BMW in Redhill as a sales/service adviser.
  16. Chic Bates: A forward who managed Shrewsbury Town three times and Stoke City before going to work in Telford College’s sports academy.
  17. Ray McHale: A forward who twice managed Scarborough and was Oldham’s chief scout. He was also an FA tutor and ran a soccer school until retiring to Spain.
  18. Ian Miller: A winger who has held a number of coaching posts and is now chief scout at Preston North End under Simon Grayson
  19. Alan Mayes: The forward worked in Wycombe’s commercial department and is now business development manager for a corporate hospitality firm.
  20. Andy Rowland: The forward was first-team coach at the County Ground and the landlord of the Plough Inn. He now works for Swindon Mind.


Steve Abbley: A winger who is now chairman of Quick Move Properties, as well as Cirencester Town FC.

Glenn Cockerill: The midfielder managed Woking and Winchester and now lives in Surrey, working as a painter and decorator.

David Peach: A full-back who went into the building industry after running a fish business and has worked as a site and contracts manager.

This article was brought to you by The Football League Paper. On-sale every Sunday, the newspaper provides extensive coverage for all 72 Football League clubs with news, features and gossip plus comprehensive match reports.
To subscribe to The Football League Paper CLICK HERE

Tagged , ,

Share this story:


Related Posts

UK betting


[snack_ad id="6539145" type="1by1"]