Sunday evening saw the sad news reach us that Miguel Cuesta Perez or “Michu” as he’s affectionately known in this corner of south Wales has retired due to his ongoing ankle injury.
It’s over three years now since he last wore the Swansea City shirt but he made a lasting impression that none of us will ever forget.
The Jack Army were feeling a bit down after Brendan Rodgers left for Liverpool meaning Gylfi Sigurdsson’s transfer fell through as well. We needed a new hero and goal scorer, and boy did we find one.
He arrived from Rayo Vallecano for what became known as the deal of the decade for just £2 million. Having scored 15 goals in La Liga the previous season hopes were expectations were high when he moved to SA1. He didn’t disappoint.
Twenty two times he struck during the 2012/13 season, many of them live long in the memory. The double at Arsenal stands out for me. I still felt a bit inferior in our second season at this level when we travelled away to the top sides. You’d expect to get beaten but hold out hope you may get the occasional draw if the opposition has an off day.
You most certainly don’t expect to go to places like the Emirates and win but thanks to him we did. There’s no better feeling than winning in the last minute either, the sheer elation of thinking you won’t win but then you do with hardly any time left just can’t be beaten.
They were two brilliant goals as well, a nice one two with Luke Moore put him in for the first which he stuck in the top corner. The second one summed him up, the entire away end (me included) were shouting at him to sprint when he found himself one on one with the keeper by the halfway line. But he just casually jogged forward with the attitude of “don’t worry lads it’s all in hand” and it was. He buried that chance too on a memorable afternoon in the Capital.
It seemed as if not a week would go by when you wouldn’t see the Spaniard put a cup to his left ear in his trademark celebration after another goal.
He was influential as well in our League Cup success, his cool finish in the semi final at Chelsea was arguably his biggest goal for us. He would also find the net in the final and on what is in my opinion the greatest night in our history as we trounced Valencia 0-3 in their own backyard in the Europa League.
It’s a shame his time with us and his career was all too short but we have some amazing memories. Sometimes it’s better to have a short career but fill it with some brilliant moments than one that lasts a lot longer but you’re just existing rather than contributing.
Look at James Thomas, his career was short, admittedly a lot shorter than Michu’s but he’s still a hero to the fans because his goals kept us in the Football League.
The fans will have similar affection for the Spaniard who was a huge part in us finishing 9th (3rd highest finish in our history) and winning our first ever major trophy.
When you make a lasting contribution like that it will never be forgotten by the Jack Army. On a final note it would be brilliant if he was invited to play in Alan Tate’s testimonial so he could say a final goodbye to the fans. In the meantime enjoy the video above of our former number 9’s debut season with us.
Happy retirement Michu, thanks for the memories!