One of my old student haunts from the 1980s... The Cricketers
King Edward's Road
...which sits behind the St.Helen's rugby and cricket ground, has closed and is to be converted into forty-five student flats.
The Cricketers is most famous for being visible in the background of the footage of Garfield Sobers' six sixes in one over, for Nottinghamshire against Glamorganshire on 31st August 1968, the first time such a feat had ever been achieved in first-class cricket. In particular, the sixth boundary shot goes flying down King Edward's Road past the pub windows, "My goodness, it's gone way down to Swansea!" as the commentator says. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZUVL3SqqZo
Some of my personal memories of the pub include plenty of visits before watching Glamorgan play (St.Helen's was always a great ground for spin-bowlers, due to the higher humidity in the air due to being right on Swansea seafront). I can remember being sat on the top of the terrace near the pub for a match involving Hampshire in 1987, when the late great Malcolm Marshall smacked a six that only narrowly missed my head, landed in Bryn Road and got a mention in the write-up in 'The Times' the next day. The equally great Gordon Greenidge (also playing for Hampshire that day) bought my mate Chris a pint in the St.Helen's bar afterwards and played him at pool.
I can also remember drinking there on my rarer excursions to watch Swansea RFC, and a particular match on 2nd January 1989 against Llanelli. This was Jonathan Davies' last match playing Rugby Union for Llanelli before his (then highly) controversial move to Rugby League and Widnes for a record £230,000. Even without a back-story as big as that, Swansea v. Llanelli was such a big fixture that Swansea City v. Reading, taking place at The Vetch on the same day, was moved to a noon kick-off. (I watched that too, from the Reading end. Finished 2-0 to Swansea if I remember rightly).
Finally, I can also remember sitting in The Cricketers pub for most of a week in mid-September 1988, when watching telly in a pub was still strange and new, watching the Seoul Olympics while drinking breakfast pints (this was long before Wetherspoons kicked all the novelty out of that particular past-time). However, on the morning of Saturday 24th, I supped up my pint and left some time just before the start of Ben Johnson's incredible drugged-up 100 metres, needing to catch the train down to Portsmouth 1 Crystal Palace 1
at Fratton Park.