David D’Auria

Landore born David Alan D’Auria joined the Swans as a YTS trainee on leaving Pentrehafod school, signing professionally in July 1988.

The 5ft 10″ midfielder had already made his league debut, replacing Phil Williams from the substitute bench on 31 August 1987 against Hartlepool United in Barclays League Division Four whilst still a trainee.

David D'Auria

Capped at Welsh Youth Level, making his first appearance at Dundee against Scotland in February 1987 in a European Qualifying Match, he made a further three substitute appearances for the Swans during the 1987/88 season.

Dai, as he became known to fans, was a hard working midfielder, he developed into a competent central midfielder, with high fitness levels, good tackling abilities, and an eye for goalscoring opportunities.

Born on 26 March 1970, as a youngster he had played for the renowned North End Juniors in the Mayhill area of Swansea, alongside former Wales manager and Swans defender Chris ‘Cookie’ Coleman.

In his first season as a professional in 1988/89, he scored in consecutive league games for the Swans, with both games finishing in 1-0 victories, against Aldershot and Northampton Town respectively.

Season 1989/90 saw D’Auria start in the first leg of the European Cup Winners Cup tie in Athens against Panathinaikos, which the Swans lost 3-2. He has plenty of memories from that eventful night in Greece:

Ian Evans had taken over from Terry Yorath as manager earlier that year and I’d obviously done enough in the league matches I’d played in at the start of that season to start in such a big game.

The atmosphere that night blew me away. There were something like 53,000 supporters in the Olympic Stadium in Athens, which is the biggest gate I ever played in front of during my career.

I remember getting goosebumps on the back of my neck walking out onto the pitch.

They scored in the opening few minutes if my memory serves me right, but we played well and Paul Raynor and John Salako scored for us in a 3-2 defeat that meant the tie was still well and truly alive ahead of the second leg at the Vetch.

In May 1990 and in 1991 he was included in the Swans squad that beat Llanelli in consecutive West Wales Senior Cup Finals.

Despite having his best season with 31 first team appearances, he was released at the end of season 1990/91, joining Conference side Merthyr Tydfil, where he scored five goals from midfield in his first season, helping the club to finish fourth place in the Conference.

During his four seasons at the Vetch Field, D’Auria made 63 appearances for the Swans, scoring 6 goals.

With Barry Town also dropping out of the Beazer Homes Midland Division at the end of the season 1992/93, and entering the Welsh League First Division, Dai and a number of former Swans players made appearances for Barry during a season in which they won the league title.

Barry Town also beat Cardiff City at the National Stadium in Cardiff to win the Welsh Cup Final that season, with D’Auria scoring one of the goals with another former Swans David Hough getting the winner.

Also included in the Barry team on that day, were former Swans players Terry Boyle, Alan Curtis, Phil Williams and Paul Wimbledon.

Dai returned to the Football League with Scarborough in August 1994, where his consistency in midfield saw him return seven goals from midfield in his first season, resulting in a £40,000 transfer to Scunthorpe United midway through his second season with Scarborough.

His vision and creativity in midfield, and an eye for goal, saw him score ten league goals during the season 1997/98, with the Iron just missing out on a Play Off place.

After signing for Hull City in July 1998, and making the most appearances in one season of forty-two league games, he was sold to Chesterfield in November 1999 for £50,000.

Unfortunately for Dai, during his time at Saltergate he suffered with a back problem, before being sidelined with a foot, and ankle injury, which severely limited his appearances for the club. He was released at the end of season 2001/02, and in late August 2002 joined Dr. Martens Premier Division side Newport County.

During his time at Hull and Chesterfield, D’Auria studied a five-year evening course in plumbing and gas heating that would eventually lead to a career as a gas engineer.

Moving back to the Swansea area in 2002, he signed for League of Wales club Llanelli, and at the start of the 2003/04 season joined CC Sports Welsh League side Skewen Athletic.

In the 2005 close season he was appointed assistant manager to Andrew Dyer at Neath Athletic following the merger of Skewen Athletic and Neath AFC.

David D'Auria - Football Aid match
D’Auria in action during the Football Aid match in April 2019

Since June 2017, he has been manager of Gorseinon-based Welsh Football League Division One side Garden Village, and currently works for SSE Swalec as a gas engineer.

You can follow D’Auria’s managerial exploits by following him on twitter @dauria_david.

The ‘Swansea Town/City Players A-Y’ book written by Colin Jones was an excellent reference guide for the information contained on this page. The information was reproduced with the kind permission of Colin.