Everyone at Rotherham United has been deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our former player and captain Trevor Swift, aged 73.
The news of Trevor’s passing comes during an incredibly sad time for the club, after we also learned of the very recent passing of former players Roy Lambert and Billy McEwan.
Trevor was a local lad, from Canklow, who made it with his home town club and in a first team career across eight years he made 328 appearances overall, scoring 25 goals.
Formerly at South Grove School, he played Youth football at Thurcroft Welfare and signed for Rotherham as a teenager and it was Tommy Docherty who made him a regular at just 19.
Docherty liked wholehearted youngsters and Trevor’s commitment to the cause endeared him to ‘The Doc’. He had played only once beforehand but in only his third game in charge, Docherty put him in the side in December 1967 and he stayed in it for the rest of that season.
A natural central defender, solid in the tackle, he wore the No 5 shirt as a traditional centre half until being part of a switch of positions on a famous occasion in January 1968.
The Millers played top flight Wolves in the FA Cup at Millmoor and the match programme had ‘Swifty’ wearing No 5 as usual. But Docherty decided late on that he should switch to right back and the No 2 in the programme should play centre half. Trevor thus moved aside so that Dave Watson could play at centre half for the first time in his third Millers appearance.
He was later to partner Watson in centre defence many times, forming a formidable centre defence partnership.
When Jim McGuigan arrived as manager after the club’s relegation in 1973 and set about re-jigging the side and turning things around, Trevor proved a key figure in that season of rebuild and consolidation and was the only ever-present in the 1973/74 season.
The following season saw the club gain promotion from Division Four but Trevor had another role, McGuigan playing him in midfield during the first half of that season.
It was to prove his last season at the club and, perhaps fittingly, his final appearance happened to be in his old No 5 shirt back in centre defence as he helped the Millers to a 1-0 win at Darlington in April 1975.
Although only 27, he did not stay in the EFL when he left that Summer but continued to play at Worksop Town and, later, in Sunday League football.
He maintained his soccer connections in the town by running a soccer school at Wingfield for young players.
He also was well known for his butcher’s business in Rotherham Indoor Market and he also worked for the Post Office.
Just before Christmas, Trevor was guest speaker at the Rotherham United Nostalgia Society.
Everyone at Rotherham United would like to extend their heartfelt condolences to Trevor’s family and friends at this incredibly difficult time.
Once a Miller, Always a Miller.