Vetch Field got its name from the legumes, which grew on the surface at the time. The site was in a good location and deemed surplus to requirements, so Swansea City moved in.
The players had to wear knee pads during the first season as the pitch was made of compacted coal cinder. Swansea City occupied Vetch Field from 1912 until 2005 before moving to the Liberty Stadium across town. The ground was demolished in 2011, but the centre circle remains, as this is where people’s ashes have been spread.
The first league match for Swansea at Vetch Field was a local derby against Cardiff City on September 7th 1912 and their final league fixture was a 1-0 win against Shrewsbury Town.
The ground’s capacity reached 12,000 when it finally closed but the record attendance stands at 32,796 when Swansea met Arsenal in 1968 for the 4th Round of the FA Cup.
For many fans Vetch Field is a very special place and everyone will have a memory that they love to share with others. Swansea has had some incredible footballing moments. Fans invaded the pitch in 1979 after the Club beat Chesterfield to secure promotion to Division Two. In 1981 they beat Leeds 5-1 in what is one of the most famous victories in the Club’s history.
After the final competitive match to be played at Vetch Field, the 2005 FAW Premier Cup final, which saw Swansea beat Wrexham 2–1, fans as ripped up seats and turf as mementos at the final whistle. The ground also hosted Wales internationals including two World Cup qualifiers against Iceland in 1981 and Finland in 1988 which both ended in 2-2 draws.
During the demolition work the famous clock was noticed by workers to be missing. It was finally found in the hands of a group of people who were frustrated by the council’s handling of such historic relics. The clock now takes pride of place in the Swansea museum.
Today Vetch Field is temporarily being used for allotments while a new project called the Vetch Veg Project looks at turning part of the site into an urban utopia.
The Club has now moved to the prestigious Liberty Stadium, which has a capacity of just over 20,000. However, with all games being sold out each week there have been talks to increase the capacity even further.