Phil Dwyer

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Phil Dwyer
Phil Dwyer.jpg
Personal information
Full name Philip John Dwyer[1]
Date of birth (1953-10-28) 28 October 1953 (age 65)
Place of birth Cardiff, Wales
Playing position Defender
Youth career
1969–1972 Cardiff City
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1972–1985 Cardiff City 471 (41)
1985Rochdale (loan) 15 (1)
National team
1978–1979 Wales 10 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Philip Joseph Dwyer (born 28 October 1953) is a Welsh former professional footballer who played for Cardiff City, Rochdale and the Wales national team. He began his career with his hometown club Cardiff City, making his debut in 1972. He made over 500 appearances in all competitions for the club, becoming the club's all-time Football League appearance record holder, during a 13-year spell. He also gained ten caps for Wales.

Football career[edit]

Dwyer, affectionally known as "Joe" by Cardiff City fans,[2] joined his home town team as an apprentice in 1969, appearing in the 1971 FA Youth Cup Final defeat to Arsenal. He made his professional debut in a 0–0 draw with Leyton Orient on 7 October 1972,[3] playing as a right-back. On 8 November 1975 Dwyer, who would go on to break the club's appearance record, came close to never playing for the club again. While playing in a league match against Gillingham, he collided with an opposition player and received a blow from the players knee to the back of his head and was knocked unconscious. The impact had forced Dwyer to swallow his tongue and he stopped breathing before Cardiff physio Ron Durham managed to clear his airway, and save his life, by using the corner flag pole. He was taken to hospital by an ambulance that had driven onto the Priestfield pitch. However, Dwyer was back playing for the Bluebirds just seven days later against Colchester United.

His final appearance for the club came on 17 March 1985 in a 4–1 defeat against Notts County. Following the match, Dwyer lambasted several of his teammates after believing that they had given up during the game. His outburst led manager Alan Durban to drop Dwyer from the side and inform him that he was no longer needed at the club.[4] Rival South Wales clubs Swansea City and Newport County showed interest in signing him, although Durban did not inform Dwyer of their interest. He instead joined Fourth Division side Rochdale, scoring once in his 15 League games.[5]

International career[edit]

He made his international debut for Wales against Iran on 18 April 1978 at the age of 24, scoring the only goal of the game as well as having one goal disallowed and a header off the post. Dwyer scored again in his second game during a 3–1 defeat to England in the 1978 British Home Championship at his home club ground, Ninian Park.[6] He played in the remaining two matches of the competition and also played in all three matches of the 1979 British Home Championship as Wales recorded consecutive second-place finishes. He made his final appearance for Wales on 17 October 1979 in a 5–1 defeat to West Germany. However, despite playing in 10 of Wales' 13 matches between April 1978 and October 1979, Dwyer never played for his country again.[7]

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Wales' goal tally first.[8]
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 18 April 1978 Azadi Stadium, Tehran, Iran  Iran 1–0 1–0 Friendly
2. 13 May 1978 Ninian Park, Cardiff, Wales  England 1–1 1–3 1978 British Home Championship

After football[edit]

After retiring from football, in 1985 Dwyer joined the South Wales Police force, despite being a year older than the force's recruitment age limit, in the town of Wenvoe, where he has lived with his wife Ann for twenty years. When asked about Dwyer's age at the time a police chief constable commented that: "Phil had qualities which would be valuable to the police."[9] He spent fifteen years as a police officer before becoming a freelance legal representative.[2]

On 29 October 2008, after pleading guilty to a drunk driving charge, he was suspended by Cardiff Magistrates from driving for three years, when after calling on a client at Rumney Police Station he was found to have had 54 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, 19 microgrammes over the legal limit.[10]


Cardiff City[5]

1972–73, 1973–74, 1975–76
1974–75, 1976–77


  • Shepherd, Richard (2007). The Cardiff City Miscellany. Pitch books. ISBN 1-905411-04-9.
  1. ^ "Phil Dwyer". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Dwyer the defender on and off the pitch". South Wales Echo. 16 December 2006. Retrieved 28 November 2007.
  3. ^ "Phil Dwyer banned from driving". South Wales Echo. 30 October 2008. Retrieved 18 December 2009.
  4. ^ Terry Phillips (15 November 2011). "Durban Packed Me off to Rochdale after My City Rant - Dwyer". South Wales Echo. Archived from the original on 7 January 2018. Retrieved 6 January 2018 – via HighBeam Research. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  5. ^ a b Hayes, Dean (2006). The Who's Who of Cardiff City. Breedon Books. pp. 52–53. ISBN 1-85983-462-0.
  6. ^ "Wales 1–3 England". Retrieved 18 December 2009.[dead link]
  7. ^ "Phil Dwyer". Retrieved 18 December 2009.
  8. ^ Football PLAYER: Phil Dwyer at
  9. ^ "Driving ban for Cardiff City legend Phil Dwyer". Western Mail. 30 October 2008. Retrieved 18 December 2009.
  10. ^ "Ex-footballer given driving ban". BBC Wales. 29 October 2008. Retrieved 29 October 2008.

External links[edit]