24th May 2022
After 13 seasons’ playing for his home club Arbroath, in a career which has seen him also play for Dundee, St Johnstone and Forfar Athletic, our midfielder Gavin Swankie has announced his retirement at the age of 38.
In a footballing career which has included over 500 appearances and over 100 goals and such accolades as League Winners Medals, PFA Scotland’s Player’s Player of the Year, Scottish Football League Player of the Year and some incredible and important goals, Gavin Swankie hangs up his boots proud of a remarkable and long footballing career.
Making his way up through a very successful and talented Arbroath Youth Team, Gavin made his first team debut in the final Second Division game of the 2000-2001 season, scoring the Lichties only goal in a 3-1 defeat at Clydebank. Arbroath, under the managership of John Brownlie, had already secured promotion to Division One after finishing runners-up.
Gavin’s skill caught the eye of Dundee, and a full time move followed as he moved to Den’s Park in the 2005-2006 season before have a short loan spell back at Gayfield later that season.
After 3 seasons with Dundee, Gavin moved to Perth and had two seasons with St Johnstone and helped them win the old Scottish First Division before playing Premier League Football with the Saints the following season.
Paul Sheerin brought Gavin back to Gayfield and in season 2010-2011 Gavin he won his first League medal with the Lichties as Paul Sheerin’s side won Arbroath’s first League Title in 133 years.
23 of his Gavin’s 58 goals for Arbroath came in that glorious 2010-2011 Third Division title-winning season.
It was the most league goals scored by an Arbroath player for 47 years and is the sixth best league tally since WW2.
His exploits seen Gavin voted PFA Scotland’s Player’s Player of the Year and Scottish Football League Player of the Year but most importantly helped the Lichties lift their first ever League Championship. What an achievement for any footballer, but even more so for your home town team.
Dick Campbell signed Gavin for Forfar Athletic in 2012/2013, where he spent the next 5 seasons before Dick Campbell moved to Arbroath.
Dick brought Gavin home to the Lichties in 2017-2018 where he won his Second League Title in the 2018-2019 season as Arbroath won League One having led from day one.
In total Gavin made 317 appearances for Arbroath, starting 249 starting games with another 68 from the bench, scoring 56 league goals and a further 2 goals in cup competitions and most importantly owns a 3rd Division Winners Medal and a Scottish League One Winners Medal.
“The most technically-gifted player I have worked with.” is perhaps the highest praise Gavin could ever hear, with Dick Campbell always keen to praise Gavin.
Gavin’s experience and knowledge of the game has seen him be a pivotal part of the Arbroath dressing room and as Gavin showed against Morton on the final day of the season, he still has talent and skill in abundance.
Arbroath Chairman Mike Caird “Having watched Gavin star as a youngster in our very successful youth team playing along side other talented local players to witnessing his first goal on his debut for the first team on the last day of the 2000/1 season down at Clydebank I have been lucky enough to watch Gavin’s whole career at Gayfield.
Not only is he one of the most successful players that we have ever had with 2 league titles but the skill and passing ability that he possesses was a joy to watch over many seasons.
I would like to thank Gavin for his dedication to Arbroath Football Club and wish him well in his retirement from playing.“
Perhaps Gavin’s largest legacy is that he is the local player who has made it, the local lad who played for his home town club and been successful.
Medals, moves to full time clubs and a fans favourite, we hope that Gavin’s long career and skill will inspire many more local boys and girls and we hope one day that Gavin’s young boys will turn out for Arbroath.
Thank you for the memories Gavin! It’s been an incredible journey!
C’mon the Lichties