The final part of the Premier League opening day set looks at the squad of Cardiff City’s last season in the top flight – more than half a century ago…
Dilwyn John (Goalkeeper)
Goalkeeper John began his footballing career at Cardiff and made his debut during the season in a match against Chelsea. He went on to make nearly 90 league appearances for Cardiff before leaving in 1967 for fellow Welsh side Swansea. He spent 3 years with the Swans before ending his career with spells at Hereford United and Merthyr Tydfil before retiring. Following his retirement, John spent a lot of time as an amateur snooker player and was Welsh champion and 2nd in the IBSF World Snooker Championships in 1985.
Maurice Swan (Goalkeeper)
Irishman Swan joined Cardiff in 1960 from Drumcondra in his homeland, where he made history by being the youngest player at the time to have played in the Irish league at the age of 15 (he is still the youngest goalkeeper in the Irish league’s history). Swan rarely played for Cardiff during his time there and left for Hull in 1963. During his time with the Tigers he won the Third Division and was part of the side that reached the FA Cup quarter finals. He returned to Ireland in 1968 to finish his career with spells at Dundalk, Drumcondra and Finn Harps before retiring in 1972. Swan was also a one time Ireland international, playing 45 minutes against Sweden.
Graham Vearncombe (Goalkeeper)
Welsh goalkeeper Vearncombe was another who began his career at Cardiff and he made his debut in 1952. He went on to make over 200 appearances for Cardiff before he left in 1964 for a spell with Merthyr Tydfil before he retired. Vearncombe also managed to earn 2 caps for Wales between 1957 and 1960 and was a part of the Welsh squad at the 1958 World Cup.
Colin Baker (Defender)
Wing half Baker made his debut for Cardiff in 1953 and was a regular in the side for over a decade. He made over 300 appearances for the Bluebirds and was a one club man throughout his career, retiring with Cardiff in 1966. Baker was another Welsh international in the Cardiff team making 7 appearances between 1958 and 1961.
Mel Charles (Defender/Striker)
A competent centre half and centre forward, Charles was the younger brother of “The Gentle Giant” John Charles (regarded as one of the, if not the best player to come from Wales). Despite being an ex-Swansea player, Charles joined Cardiff from Arsenal in February 1962 but was unable to save them from relegation. Charles stayed with Cardiff until 1965, during which time he played alongside brother John at club level for the first time, when he joined Welsh side Porthmadog. He finished his career with spells at Port Vale, Oswestry Town and Haverfordwest before retiring in 1972. Charles was also a Welsh international, appearing in all of their games at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden and racking up 31 caps and 6 goals between 1955 and 1962. Following retirement, Charles wrote an autobiography entitled “In The Shadow Of A Giant”, a reference to his brother.
Trevor Edwards (Defender)
Full back Edwards was signed from Charlton Athletic in 1960 and made over 70 league appearances for Cardiff during his spell at the club. He left in 1964 to emigrate to Australia where he finished his playing career with spells Sydney Hakoah, Melita Eagles and Marconi with whom he retired in 1972. Edwards was also a Welsh international, going to the World Cup in 1958 but only earning 2 caps.
Alec Milne (Defender)
Scottish defender Milne joined Cardiff from Arbroath in 1957 and quickly established himself in the side. He was an ever present in the 1961-62 season and also scored his only league goal for Cardiff in that season (during a defeat to Wolves). His later career at Cardiff was hampered by injury and he left in 1965 for his final club Barry Town. Following his retirement, he emigrated to Canada.
Frank Rankmore (Defender)
Another local lad, defender Rankmore made his debut for Cardiff in 1957. He ended up playing 75 times for Cardiff before his departure in 1963 for Peterborough United. He was with Peterborough until 1968 when he joined Northampton before he retired in 1971. He is also a one time Wales international with his cap coming in 1966.
Ron Stitfall (Defender)
The experienced Stitfall was a one club man. He was a boyhood fan of Cardiff and made his debut for the side in 1947. He went on to make over 400 appearances for the club before retiring in 1963. He was also a 2 time Wales international between 1952 and 1957. Following his retirement, Stitfall coached at Cardiff and Newport County before becoming kitman for the Welsh national team. Ron Stitfall sadly passed away in June 2008.
Alan Durban (Midfielder)
Midfielder Durban began his career with Cardiff, making his debut in 1959. He joined Derby in 1963 after not really making an impression on the Cardiff first team and was one of the cornerstones of the title winning teams in the Second Division in 1969 and the First Division in 1972 under Brian Clough. Durban left in 1973 to become player-assistant manager at Shrewsbury which became player-manager in December 1973. He continued playing and managing at Shrewsbury until 1978 when he retired from playing to join Stoke as manager. He then went on to have spells managing Sunderland, Willington and Cardiff until 1986. He has also worked for Sunderland and Stoke in scouting and mentoring roles recently. Durban was also a Welsh international and won 27 caps (scoring twice) between 1966 and 1972.
Steve Gammon (Midfielder)
Midfielder Gammon was another who had begun his career with Cardiff and he made his debut in 1958. His career was changed in 1961 when he suffered a broken leg. He managed to return to playing but broke the same leg twice more which forced him out of the professional game in 1965. Gammon joined Kettering Town (then of the Southern Football League) and was appointed player-manager three months later. He stayed with Kettering until 1971 when he left.
Alan Harrington (Defender)
A club legend at Cardiff, Harrington made his debut for the club in 1951. He was a regular for more than a decade with Cardiff but his career was slowed by a broken leg which caused him to miss the entire 1963-64 campaign. He was forced to retire from playing after his second broken leg in 1966. Harrington was also a Wales international, winning 11 caps between 1956 and 1961. Post retirement, Harrington led Barry Town to the Welsh League title in 1983 and was given a Merit Award from the FAW (Welsh FA) in 2007.
Barrie Hole (Midfielder)
Midfielder Hole began his career with Cardiff, making his debut in 1960 at the age of just 17. He quickly established himself as a key member of the side and was even used as an emergency striker from time to time. Hole left Cardiff to join Blackburn Rovers in 1966 before having spells with Aston Villa and Swansea before his retirement in 1972. Hole was also a Wales international between 1963 and 1970 when he won 30 caps.
Peter King (Midfielder)
Joining from Worcester City in 1960, King became a legend at the club. During his 14 years with the club, King made over 350 league appearances and will be forever remembered as the first man to score a goal for Cardiff in European competition (a Cup Winners’ Cup tie against Danish side Esbjerg). He was forced to retire while at Cardiff in 1974 due to an Achilles injury.
Graham Moore (Midfielder)
Making his debut for Cardiff in 1957, Moore left halfway through the season for Chelsea. His short spell at Stamford Bridge led to a move to Manchester United in 1963. He struggled at United and left for Northampton after a year. He finished his career with spells at Charlton Athletic and Doncaster Rovers before retiring in 1974. Moore also won 21 Wales caps between 1959 and 1970 and scored a solitary goal on his debut against England as well as being the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year in 1959.
Brian Walsh (Midfielder)
Englishman Walsh joined from Arsenal in 1955 and went on to make more than 200 appearances for Cardiff. He was a popular player amongst Cardiff fans for his exciting wing play but left the club halfway through the season for Newport County. His time at Newport was short due to injuries which eventually ended his career in the 1963-64 season. Post retirement, Walsh was a chartered accountant having qualified during his time at Cardiff.
Gareth Williams (Midfielder)
Williams only signed professional terms with Cardiff in June 1961 but quickly became a regular in the side. He was appointed the club captain in 1964 and rarely missed any games afterwards until he departed for Bolton in 1967. His time in Bolton started poorly with bad form and an even worse disciplinary record before recapturing some of the form from his Cardiff days. He joined Bury in 1971 and retired just two years later. Despite having Welsh parents and the one of the most Welsh names known to man, Williams never played for Wales due to being born in Hendon which is in England. Following his retirement, Williams has worked for the prison service and run a hotel.
Peter Donnelly (Striker)
English striker Donnelly joined Cardiff in 1960 from Scunthorpe United but finished the 1961-62 season with arch rivals Swansea. He only lasted a year at Swansea before retiring in 1966 after spells with Brighton and Bradford. Following his retirement, Donnelly had a couple of spells as Margate manager in the late 70s and early 80s.
Derek Hogg (Striker)
Outside left Hogg joined Cardiff from West Bromwich Albion in 1960. He only made 41 league appearances in his 3 seasons with Cardiff but was widely regarded as one of the last wingers “in the Stanley Matthews mould”. He finished his football career in the Southern League with Kettering. Hogg never played internationally for England although he did play 2 international matches as part of an English League XI in 1955 and an English FA XI in 1956.
Johnny King (Striker)
Signed from Stoke City at the start of the 1961-62 season, King came with a goal scoring reputation after scoring more than 100 league goals for Stoke. He only lasted the one season as, after just 6 league goals, he returned to his first club Crewe Alexandra before retiring in 1967. He took up tennis following his retirement and almost qualified for the Wimbledon championships in 1970.
Derek Tapscott (Striker)
Tapscott joined Cardiff from Arsenal in 1958 and was a critical part of the team during his time with the club. He scored 101 goals for Cardiff before leaving for Newport County in 1965. He only spent a season at Newport before retiring in 1966. Tapscott was also a Wales international between 1954 and 1959, making 14 caps and scoring 4 times. Following his retirement, Tapscott moved into business and wrote an autobiogrpahy entitled Tappy. Derek Tapscott sadly passed away at the age of 75 on 12th June 2008.
Dai Ward (Striker)
Striker Ward (pictured scoring against Liverpool) joined Cardiff from Bristol Rovers in 1961. He only spent a season with Cardiff but was their top scorer, netting 21 goals (17 of those in the league) despite relegation. He fell out of favour following relegation in 1962 and left that year. He had spells with Watford, Brentford, Worcester City, Bath City and Cambridge United before retiring in 1968. Ward was also a 2 time Wales international between 1959 and 1961. Ward passed away at the age of 61 in 1996.
There is the final part of the Premier League edition. This part comes with an apology for not being able to find pictures and more information on certain players. I tried my best and hopefully that is appreciated.
Of course, if you enjoyed it then feel free to leave feedback (here or on Twitter).