Bolton Wanderers legend Kevin Davies celebrates his 43rd birthday today – and bwfc.co.uk looks back on the career of the former Wanderers captain.
The Sheffield-born striker made his name as a centre-forward with Chesterfield. He signed professional forms in 1994 but came to prominence during the club’s run to the semi-finals of the FA Cup in 1997.
In the fourth round that season he netted a hat-trick against the Wanderers at Burnden Park and the Spireites went on to win 3-2. They became the last visiting side to win at Wanderers’ former ground and Davies the last player to score three in a match there.
After 129 League games for the Derbyshire outfit, Southampton paid £750,000 for him in May 1997 and he netted nine goals in 20 Premier League starts, prompting Blackburn Rovers to pay £7,250,000 for him a year later. He found the net just once in the League for Rovers and in August 1999 returned to Southampton in exchange for Egil Ostenstad.
Davies went on to gain three England under-21 appearances but struggled to gain a regular first-team place on the south coast and scored only 10 goals in four years.
In September 2002 he had a loan spell at Millwall, scoring three times in nine League games before joining the Wanderers in July 2003 on trial.
He put in an eye-catching performance in a pre-season win at Ballymena United and subsequently signed a contract.
Davies rediscovered his best form at the Reebok Stadium, playing every Premier League game in 2003-04 and scoring nine goals.
He subsequently became the club’s talisman – while not a prolific goal-getter, he epitomised the club’s hard-working style and helped the Wanderers to European football for the first time.
During 2008-09 Davies scored his 50th goal for the club in a 2-1 win over West Ham United and, after Kevin Nolan’s departure to Newcastle United, he became club captain.
In October 2010 he became the oldest English international debutant since Leslie Crompton in 1950 when he appeared as a substitute in a scoreless draw against Montenegro at Wembley.
On behalf of everybody at Bolton Wanderers, have a great day Kevin.