In 1969, Swindon beat Arsenal 3 – 1 to win the League Cup for the only time in the club’s history.
Arsenal make the brighter start but Swindon had Frank Burrows and Captain Stan Harland
in the centre of defence and goalkeeper Peter Downsborough is simply brilliant.
Almost half time and a back pass is played to Arsenal goalkeeper Bob Wilson who
allows Swindon’s Roger Smart to sneak in and tuck the ball away. 1 – 0 to Swindon.
Swindon defended in the second half, until Arsenal’s Bobby Gould headed home in the 86th minute to make it 1 – 1.
The game went to extra time.
Swindon star Don Rogers then scored twice, the second time rounding the keeper.
A 3 – 1 win for Swindon Town, the League Cup champions!
As winners of the League Cup, Swindon were assured of a place
in their first European competition : the 1969 Anglo-Italian Cup, which was contested
over two legs against Coppa Italia winners A.S. Roma.
Swindon won 5 – 2, with the scorer of two goals in the League Cup final, Don Rogers,
scoring once and Arthur Horsfield getting his
first hat-trick for the club.
The team had also beaten Juventus and Napoli along the way to the final.
The team then went on to win the 1970 Anglo Italian Cup Winners Cup competition.
The final against S.S.C. Napoli was abandoned after 79 minutes following pitch invasions
and a missile barrage, with teargas being employed to allow the teams to
return to the dressing room. The team had again also beaten
Juventus and Roma along the way to the final.
Following management changes, Swindon had a long unsuccessful period
culminating in them being relegated in 1982 to the Fourth Division,
the lowest professional Football League at the time.
With Lou Macari in charge, they were eventually promoted as
Division 4 (now League 2) champions in 1986
…with the club achieving a Football League record of 102 points,
only the second club ever to score over 100 points in a season.
A year later Swindon clinched their second successive promotion to Division 2 (now the Championship)
with a 2-0 win over Gillingham in a Play-Off Final replay, played at Selhurst Park, Crystal Palace.
Promotion campaign Manager Lou Macari left in 1989 to take charge of West Ham United
with veteran midfielder, and former Argentine 1978 FIFA World Cup winner,
Ossie Ardiles replacing him.
In his first season, Swindon were Second Division play-off winners, returning to Wembley
for the first time since 1969 for the Division Two Play-Off final, where they were promoted
to the top flight of English football for the first time in their history, after a 1-0 win over Sunderland.
Unfortunately the club later admitted breaking league rules around player payments,
and were not promoted, so Sunderland got into the top division instead.