Nigel Stevenson first joined Swansea City from school at the age of just 15, and during his long career at the Vetch Field the defender always showed loyalty, honesty and determination.
He made his first team debut in 1976 against Southport in which the Swans won 2-0 and later became team captain.
His nickname was ‘Speedy’ and he picked up that name early in his school days, having become a sprint champion – his friends and the school’s headmaster called him Speedy and the name has stuck.
During his career at Swansea, he experienced a rollercoaster ride. Enjoying our direct route from the Fourth Division to the First under the guidance of manager John Toshack, but then experienced 3 relegations to return to the basement League.
He won his first trophy at the club in 1977, winning the Young Player of the Year award as voted by the Supporters Club.
His determination can be summed up easily in a game against Preston in May 1981 when we won promotion to the top flight. He had damaged ankle ligaments but refused to come off, even though his ankle had swollen up badly.
Despite experiencing both the ups and down at the Vetch, during troubled times when the club nearly went out of business, Nigel stuck by the club through thick and thin and will always be remembered as a loyal servant to the Swans.
John Toshack: ‘Players like Speedy, Dudley Lewis and Wyndham Evans are the heart and soul of any club. During the last 10 games the three of them played a prominent part in helping the club climb out of the Second Division.’
Nigel Stevenson had 10 seasons with the Swans, played a total of 321 games and scored 21 goals. He also won 4 international caps with Wales, having made his debut against England in 1982 alongside fellow Swans Robbie James and Alan Curtis.
After his playing days, Nigel had spells in management in the League Of Wales. Teams he managed include Haverfordwest County and Neath.
Last year he featured in an all-star Swansea City side that faced Mumbles Rangers in a fund-raising match. Other players included Alan Curtis, Wyndham Evans and Dudley Lewis. The All Stars team won 7-3.
Stevenson scoring a flying volley against Blackburn at the Vetch on April 4th 1981 – a month before promotion to Division 1.
The above photos are courtesy of Len Pitson (South Wales Evening Post).
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