Sheffield Wednesday legend and 1966 nearly man Peter Swan dies aged 84

Sheffield Wednesday legend Peter Swan has died at the age of 84, it has been confirmed by his biographer.

Thursday, 21st January 2021, 11:11 am
Updated Thursday, 21st January 2021, 11:53 am

The classy centre-half, who made 275 league appearances for the Owls between 1953 and 1973, also played 19 times for England in what was an eventful career.

An integral part of Wednesday’s renaissance in the late 50s and early 60s, Swan was central to the side that finished runners-up only to the great Tottenham Hotspur side in the 1960/61 season.

All 19 of his England caps were earned in that time, between 1960 and 1962, where he represented the Three Lions consecutively, including in qualifying for the 1962 World Cup in Chile. Illness cost him the chance to play in the tournament, however, with Bobby Moore effectively taking his place.

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It was in 1962 that he was embroiled in a controversial betting scandal that saw him banned from the game. He and two other Wednesday players, Tony Kay and David Layne, placed bets that they would lose an away match at Ipswich, which they did, 2-0.

The betting ring was uncovered by a national newspaper and Swan, who was forever regretful, was banned from football. He would also serve a short jail sentence.

In the time he was banned from football England of course won the 1966 World Cup, a side it is felt Swan would’ve been a part of, with Sir Alf Ramsey later commenting that the Owls man had been ‘top of the list’.

Swan’s ban from football was lifted in 1972 and he stepped back into the game having acted as a landlord in both Sheffield and Chesterfield. After leaving Wednesday in 1974 he later played for Bury and Matlock Town, who he would go on to manage as well as spells in charge of Worksop and Matlock.

Sheffield Wednesday legend Peter Swan, centre, has died at the age of 84.

He later returned to being a landlord in Chesterfield.

His friend Nick Johnson, with whom he worked on his 2006 autobiography ‘Setting the Record Straight’, posted on Twitter: “So very sorry to learn of the passing of Sheffield Wednesday and England legend Peter Swan.

"Loved the time I spent with Swanny, working on his autobiography. I was honoured to be able to help him ‘set the record straight’. A great guy who will be sadly missed by this many friends.”

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