Andrew Davies

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Andrew Davies is an English defender who was born in Stockton-on-Tees on 17th December 1984. Davies joined Middlesbrough when he was just 13 years old in 1998. After progressing through the youth ranks to the reserves, the blonde haired centre half made his first team debut for Boro on 6th November 2002 in a 3-1 League Cup loss at Ipswich. His first Premiership start came on 28th January 2003, when Middlesbrough were comprehensively beaten 5-2 at home to Aston Villa.

Davies made 10 appearances for Middlesbrough in 2003/04, before suffering a broken leg in a reserve match in March. After just two Carling Cup appearances for Steve McClaren's side in 2004/05, he moved on loan to QPR in January. His last appearance for Rangers saw him receive his first ever red card, in a 3-2 defeat against Sheffield United. He returned to Middlesbrough in April to make a further 3 appearances before the conclusion of the campaign.

Davies spent the first six months of 2005/06 on loan at Championship side Derby. He made his Rams debut on 6th August against Brighton, and scored his first ever goal on 18th September in a 2-2 home draw with Southampton. Discipline proved to be a problem for the tough tackling stopper at County however. He was sent off three times in 24 matches for Phil Brown's side. In January Davies returned to Middlesbrough following an injury crisis at The Riverside. He featured regularly in the final few months of the season, and played in both of the clubs UEFA Cup ties against Italian giants Roma.

New Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate handed Davies plenty of opportunities in 2006/07, using the centre back on 23 occasions. Davies performed particularly well on 23rd August in a 2-1 win against Chelsea, where at one point he executed a perfectly timed sliding tackle on Didier Drogba. His impressive performances for Boro earned him a call up to the England Under 21 squad.

Davies played 6 times for Middlesbrough at the start of the 2007/08 season, but had lost his place in the team by September. On 9th October Southampton took the defender on loan for three months, with a view to a permanent deal. Davies made his Saints debut as a substitute on November 3rd in a 1-0 home loss to Charlton. The former Boro man immediately shored up a defence that was previously leaking goals for fun. Davies won over the St Mary's crowd with his no nonsense approach to defending and never say die attitude, and signed permanently with the South Coast club on 10th January for an undisclosed amount. He won countless man of the match awards, and was one of the few shining lights in an otherwise disappointing campaign. On 8th March Davies suffered a fractured cheek bone in a match at Blackpool forcing him to miss the rest of the season. Despite only playing 25 times, he was deservedly named Southampton player of the year at the end of the campaign.

On 19th August 2008 cash strapped Southampton were forced to sell Davies to newly promoted Premiership side Stoke City. He spent his first few months at The Britannia Stadium in the treatment room however. Once Davies did return to fitness he found it difficult to break into the first team. He made his debut for The Potters on 26th December against Manchester United in a 1-0 defeat, but only played two further matches for Stoke that season. In February he was loaned to Preston. Davies made his debut for North End on 14th February in a 1-0 win over Norwich. A week later he came up against former club Southampton, but looked like the shadow of the man who had performed so heroically at St Marys the previous season. Preston lost 3-1, with Davies looking shaky.

2009/10 was another disappointing season for Davies. His one and only Stoke appearance that campaign came in the League Cup against Leyton Orient on 26th August. He joined Sheffield United on a three month loan deal in September, making his debut in the 3-2 derby victory over rivals Sheffield Wednesday. Davies made 8 appearances for The Blades before returning to Stoke, where he spent the rest of the season on the sidelines.

Davies joined League 1 side Walsall on loan for a month in October 2010. After 3 matches for The Saddlers, he rejoined his hometown club Middlesbrough on February 18th until the end of the season. His loan spell was predictably interrupted by injury. Davies made just six appearance for Boro in 2010/11.

On 3rd August 2011 Davies signed for Crystal Palace on a one month loan deal. He made just two appearances for the Eagles after his debut against Peterborough on August 6th. In September 2011 Davies moved to League 2 outfit Bradford City on loan. That was where he would remain for the duration of the season. Davies once again ran into trouble with referees. He was red carded three times, and was also involved in a massive 22 man brawl with Crawley Town on 27th March 2012. Davies received a 5 match ban for that incident. On a happier note, the former Saint did manage to score twice for the Bantams during 2011/12.