Irish goalkeeper Maurice Swan joined City in June 1963 as part of Harold Needler’s squad rebuilding exercise under the management of Cliff Britton. Swan quickly took over the first team gloves from homegrown netminder Mike Williams and remained the first choice, save for a six week period after Christmas when Williams returned. In 1964/65 Swan was first choice from the start of the season until a November 1-3 FA Cup defeat at Lincoln, which led to Williams’ return for the rest of the term.
The 1965/66 season was pivotal to the history of Hull City, and Swan is often remembered as City’s netminder through that season when goals were conceded (75 goals in 55 league and cup games) but many more were scored (129). Yet he again started the season in the wings as Mike Williams started 12 of the first fourteen fixtures. Swan was restored to the first eleven in a mid-October home win against Walsall and remained in situ for the rest of the season as City powered to the Third Division league title and reached the FA Cup Sixth Round.
With City elevated to the Second Division the combined capabilities of Swan and Williams were deemed imperfect for the task in hand and Scottish ex-Arsenal goalkeeper Ian McKechnie was signed. Swan made only three starts that season, two in Cup competitions, and Williams was transferred to Aldershot. In 1967/68 Swan was again preferred at the start of the season, but McKechnie returned in November 1967 and Swan never returned to wear the number 1 shirt for the Tigers. By 1968 Swan was in dispute with City to seek his release, a matter that had to be settled by a English League Tribunal that ruled his contract should be terminated.
Maurice Swan was born in Ballybough, North Dublin and joined local side Drumcondra as a teenager, making his first team debut before his 16th birthday. As well as football Swan was proficient at Gaelic football, hurling and was an amateur boxer. In 1959 Swan played for The Drums in the European Champions Cup, getting turned over 0-10 on aggregate by Athletico Madrid, After seven years playing at Tolka Park Swan moved to Cardiff City in 1960. At Ninian Park he mustered only 15 league starts in three seasons, largely because of a collar bone injury that sidelined him for a considerable spell. In 1963 Cardiff received £5,000 from Hull City for Swan’s services.
On leaving City in the 1968 close season Swan returned to Ireland and played for another five years. He joined Dundalk in December 1968, making his debut against for side Drumcondra and playing in the Fairs Cup against Liverpool in 1969 where his side took a 0-10 battering in the Anfield leg and lost the tie 0-14 on aggregate. Swan left Dundalk in the summer of 1971 and served both Drumcondra and Finn Harps in the 1971-72 season, retiring in 1972. He then resumed his trade as an electrician and worked extensively in the television and film industry, working on the legendary comedy series Father Ted. Swan also managed local amateur league side Drumcondra Rangers for several years.
Swan had been a Ireland schoolboy international in his teenage years and in May 1960, a few weeks before his transfer to Cardiff, he won a solitary senior international cap for Ireland, coming on as substitute in a friendly against Sweden in Malmo. He was Ireland reserve goalkeeper for a further 15 internationals but never won a second cap.
Date/Place of Birth: 27 September 1938, Dublin
Hull City First Game: 16 September 1963, Southend United A (Division Three), 24 years, 354 days old
Hull City Final Game: 11 November 1967, Norwich City H (Division Two), 29 years, 45 days old
Drumcondra (1953-1960), Cardiff City (1960-1963), Hull City (1963-1968), Dundalk (1968-1971), Drumcondra (1971-1972), Finn Harps (1972)
Hull City Record
Career: 122 apps, 0 goalsMaurice Swan
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