Our next meaningless fixture in a season that has drifted into the wilderness in such a pathetic manner pits us up against Swansea City, who will be looking for a win to give themselves breathing space from the sides in the relegation zone; our record against them at St. James Park is decent and our first port of call takes us back to 1935 when we ran out 5-1 winners against the then named Swansea Town. The hero that day was young forward Billy Cairns who managed to get a hat trick, Cairns had an impressive record of 51 goals in 88 games for United; arguably the outbreak of the Second World War robbed him of his best years at the club. That match was in the second division, and after United’s promotion in 1947 we had to wait until 1953 before welcoming the Jacks back to Tyneside in the FA Cup. We managed to beat them convincingly that day too despite missing Jackie Milburn, our goals coming from Reg Davies, Vic Keeble and Bobby Mitchell. Our trouncing of the Swans continued when in 1962 doubles from Jimmy Fell and Alan Suddick helped us on our way to a 6-1 victory in our first season back in the second tier. Three years later Scottish winger Willie Penman had his shooting boots on as he fired a hat trick in a 3-1 victory in our promotion season. Into the 1980’s now and United suffered a defeat at the hands of John Toshack’s Swansea who were on their final hurdle from completing a transition from a fourth division club to a first division one in four seasons; our consolation goal that day came from Alan Shoulder. By 1984 the Jacks were back in the second tier and a United side who were on their way back up beat them 2-0 with goals coming from Kenny Wharton and Peter Beardsley. It took ten years for the sides to meet again in a competitive fixture and that came in the FA Cup 4th round when a Swans side in the third division were beaten thanks to a hat trick from Paul Kitson who was attempting to plug the gap left by Andy Cole’s departure only a month earlier. Their next visit came in the Championship season of 09/10 when a Peter Lovenkrands header was sandwiched between a Marlon Harewood double. Our final encounter of note was last season when a rather miserable United performance culminated in a poor 2-1 defeat to Swansea with a late consolation from Demba Ba our only source of cheer.
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