Let the Train Take the Strain to Toshack’s Greatest Game

Would you jump through the window of a train to watch the Swans? This guy did and was snapped in the act, becoming immortalised in Swans First Division folklore in the process!

Next week marks the 38th anniversary of the away victory at Preston that capped the remarkable rise of Swansea City and saw John Toshack’s side clinch promotion to the top tier of English football. I wrote last week that I’d be teaming up with Martin Johnson to bring a special article to commemorate that legendary feat and as I did my research yesterday I came across this wonderful little pre-match item.

The day before the crucial promotion or bust fixture thousands of fans flocked to the city’s railway station to make the trip to Deepdale, but one fan left it…a little late…to let the train take the strain and was reduced to a panic as the Preston bound locomotive prepared to leave the platform without him.

There was no way this Jack was missing the most important game in his club’s history and so, as the Evening Post reported, he saw the open carriage window and WENT FOR IT!!

Fortunately for him he caught his train, and fortunately for us photographer Alan Trethewy caught the moment on camera for us to enjoy almost forty years later.

I guess we’ll never know if the brave/reckless individual in the photo did go on to make the match but what we do know is that Toshack kept his side on track for a glorious win to take the Swans into the top division…

…must have been all that training 😉

What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to make sure you didn’t miss a Swans game? Tell your own stories in the comments section below!

Fan jumps through the window of a moving train to make the preston v Swans promotion game in 1981