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Former England defender, famous for scandal, ban and jail sentence dies aged 84

FOOTBALL By Mirror | January 21st 2021
General view of the Premier League ball next to the corner flag [Reuters, Darren Staples]

Former Sheffield Wednesday and England defender Peter Swan has died, aged 84.

Swan played over 300 times for the Owls and made 19 England appearances in the 1960s.

Having come through the youth ranks at Hillsborough, Swan represented Wednesday with distinction between 1953 and 1964 before a betting scandal saw him banned from football.

Along with fellow Owls stars Tony Kay and David Layne, Swan had placed a bet on Wednesday to lose at Ipswich in December 1962.

The Owls were beaten 2-0 at Portman Road and - after the scandal was uncovered by The People - Swan was banned in April 1964 as he was preparing to play against Tottenham.

He received a four-month jail sentence and did not return to action until 1972 when he re-joined Wednesday.

In an interview with The Times in 2006, he said: "We lost the game fair and square, but I still don't know what I'd have done if we'd been winning.

Swan playing for England in a World Cup qualifier against Portugal in May 1961 (Image: Popperfoto via Getty Images)

"It would have been easy for me to give away a penalty or even score an own goal. Who knows?"

Swan's international career saw him play 19 consecutive games after making his England debut against Yugoslavia in May 1960.

He was part of the 1962 World Cup squad but didn't play due to illness. Swan was tipped to be part of the Three Lions' victorious 1966 campaign had he not been banned.

Swan would play for Bury and Matlock before finishing his playing career, and also managed Matlock, Worksop and Buxton following his retirement.

Sheffield Wednesday tweeted: "We are saddened to learn of the passing of former player Peter Swan. The revered defender played 301 games for Wednesday over two stints and represented England on 19 occasions.

"Our thoughts are with Peter's family and friends at this difficult time. RIP."

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