Michael Chopra

City vs. Swansea City | South Wales derby scorers

As Cardiff City prepare for their 115th meeting against Swansea City, we take a look back at three City legends who have left their mark on the South Wales derby...
John Toshack
John Toshack

Having grown up in the shadow of Ninian Park, John Toshack will always be regarded as a Bluebirds legend. He joined City in 1965 when he was 16 years old, and Tosh used to clean the boots of the great John Charles. He was, at the time, the youngest ever player to appear for the Bluebirds, and went on to score 74 goals in 162 appearances for the club.

Four of those goals came in South Wales derby matches. His first goals against Swansea City came in the Welsh Cup Final of 1969. Jimmy Scoular’s side were looking to win their third consecutive Welsh Cup, but hadn’t played the Swans in the final of the competition since 1956.

In the first leg at the Vetch, Tosh would score a double to put City in a strong position. His first was a towering header from Frank Sharp’s cross, before he scored another header, as City left west Wales with a 3-1 lead to defend in the capital.

In front of over 12,500 fans at Ninian Park, the Bluebirds would stretch their advantage further. Toshack scored with his head once more in the first half, before a Leslie Lea strike saw Scoular’s side win 5-1 on aggregate.

John also scored when the two met in the semi-final stage of the Welsh Cup the following year, as they defeated the Swans once again before beating Chester in the final to make it four final victories in a row.

Michael Chopra
Michael Chopra

Michael Chopra will forever be a fan favourite at Cardiff City Stadium, having originally joined from Newcastle United in 2006. After a blistering debut campaign, the striker departed for Sunderland, but returned, after two loan spells, to the Bluebirds in 2009. In his 142 appearances in a City shirt, Chopra scored 56 goals.

Chops has a unique honour in the South Wales derby, scoring at both Ninian Park and CCS. His first came in a thrilling 2-2 draw at our former home; Chopra equalised after Nathan Dyer had put the visitors ahead. Although Joe Allen regained Swansea's lead, a late Ross McCormack penalty rescued a priceless point for Dave Jones’ side.

The following season, CCS saw its first ever South Wales derby, and Chopra had himself a field day. Having not won a derby clash since 1997, Chopra took the game by the scruff of the neck and bagged a brace to guide the Bluebirds to a 2-1 win.

Chopra’s stoppage-time minute winner sent the loud home section of the 25,000 strong crowd into a state of delirium, and his name will be forever synonymous with that derby day win.

Caulker swansea
Steven Caulker

Having been at the Liberty Stadium on loan during the 2011/12 season, Steven Caulker returned to South Wales to join the Bluebirds for their first season in the Premier League.

Heading into the first South Wales derby in the top flight of English football, City found themselves two points behind their South Wales rivals, and claiming the first Premier League derby win was a tantalising prospect.

Swansea dominated possession in the early phases, but a stern Bluebirds defence, led by Caulker, stifled and sniffed out any advancement from Michael Laudrup’s side.

All of Caulker's defensive duties were rewarded, as just after the hour mark, he towered above Chico Flores and headed in Craig Bellamy’s corner to fire the Bluebirds ahead.

Michel Vorm was sent off for the visitors in stoppage time, but it would be Cardiff City who took the bragging rights and the first derby day win in Premier League history.

Caulker went on to play every single minute in his sole season with the Bluebirds, but his matchwinning header will live long in the memory of every City fan.