Ray Crawford remembers match-fixing scandal of 1962

Ray Crawford

Ray Crawford - Credit: Archant

Legendary Ipswich Town striker Ray Crawford today recalls the infamous match-fixing scandal which surrounded a game at Portman Road in 1962.

On December 1 that year, Crawford scored both goals as the Blues defeated Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 at home.

It was a welcome result for the Suffolk club as Sir Alf Ramsey’s team, who had won the top-flight title at the first time of asking the previous season, were struggling in the follow-up campaign.

Eighteen months later, the Sunday People newspaper reported that the Sheffield Wednesday trio of Peter Swan, Tony Kay and David ‘Bronco’ Layne had placed bets on their own side to lose that day.

Their winnings amounted to the princely sum of £100 each.

All three were subsequently convicted of fraud, jailed and banned from football for life.

Swan’s ban was eventually lifted and he played one final season for Wednesday in the early 70s.

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The talented centre-back didn’t get the chance to play in the 1966 World Cup though, having previously been ahead of fellow defender Jack Charlton in the pecking order.

Crawford recalled: “If you watched that match you’d never think those players were on a back-hander. They all had fairly good games.

“Peter Swan always used to kick me when we came up against each other and it was certainly no different that day I can tell you.

“And Tony Kay was the stand-out man-of-the-match, he was that good.”

Crawford, now aged 77 and living in his hometown of Portsmouth, added: “We always used to beat Sheffield Wednesday, we were their bogey side back then and everyone joked how we had the evil eye over them.

“When someone offered those players money for losing the game they probably thought ‘Ipswich always beat us, we’ll take it’.

“I believe Peter Swan now runs a pub. I’d love to speak to him about it one day.”

Speaking in an interview back in 2006, Swan said: “The game went like it always did at Ipswich.”

Asked what would have happened if it had been 0-0 with five minutes to go? He replied: “I don”t know what I would have done.

“My money was on us to lose and money is the root of all evil. It’s easily done.

“I could have miskicked a ball into my own goal. I could have given away a penalty.”

When it finally came to Nottingham Crown Court in January 1965, Swan was one of 10 punished. Found guilty of bribery, corruption and defrauding the bookmakers, he spent 10 weeks slopping out in high-security Lincoln Prison and gardening in the more open Thorp Arch.

“Prison was horrible,” Swan recalled. “There’s nothing more degrading, doing everything in a little pot in front of other prisoners.”

As for the FA hearing, he did not even attend.

“I wasn’t going to pay money to go down to Lancaster Gate to hear them say I was banned.

“I did feel cheated because the only thing I had done – and I knew I had done it and done wrong – was the bet.

“I think they wanted to set an example.”