Hundreds join funeral salute to Swans hero
HUNDREDS of mourners have paid their final respects to a former Swans player who worked his way up from cleaning the boots of his footballing heroes.
David William Lawrence, better known as Dai, died suddenly at his home in Killay. He was aged 62.
The son of former Swans captain Syd Lawrence, he grew up in Sketty and played for the Swans for two seasons, including the team's 1969/70 promotion campaign.
Friend and former teammate Vic Gomersall, who is now commercial manager at Llanelli FC, said he was deeply saddened by the death of the 62year-old.
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The two full-backs played together at Swansea City during the late 1960s before transferring to Chelmsford City in August 1971.
"I first met Dai when he joined Swansea City as a member of the ground staff," said Vic, aged 67.
"He started by cleaning the players' boots and worked his way up from there.
"He was a genuine fella, a bit of a comedian who never had a bad word to say about anyone and we became good friends.
"He was a top mate and I was proud to be best man at his wedding to Pat."
Former Swans players including ex-Wales forward Len Allchurch were among the hundreds of mourners at the father-of-two and grandfather-of-four's fun- eral at St Hilary's Church in Killay on Tuesday.
"Dai got into football at school, although his grandmother didn't want him to pursue a career in the sport straight away and made sure he learned a trade," said Vic.
"When I decided to make the move to Chelmsford, Dai had been released from the Swans so I asked Chelmsford if they wanted another full-back."
The pair went on to help Chelmsford win the Southern League title in 1971/2 before Dai suffered an injury and moved back to Swansea to work as a carpenter.
He died of a suspected heart attack at his home in Killay on July 21.
"He had a good send-off, the church was full and his son Andrew spoke really nicely about him," added Vic.
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