Kevin Davies

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Kevin Davies in an English centre-forward who was born in Sheffield on 26th March 1977. Davies was released by Sheffield United as a school boy before being picked up by Chesterfield. He made his senior debut for The Spireites on 22nd September 1993 at the age of 16, in a 5-1 league cup defeat at West Ham. Davies scored 4 goals during 1993/94 and 11 the following campaign. He really captured national attention during 1996/97. It was during that season that Davies helped Chesterfield to the FA Cup semi-final. He scored in the 2nd round against Scarborough, and then netted a hatrick against Bolton in the 4th. Davies also played in the 5th round win over Nottingham Forest, and the amazing 3-3 semi-final clash with Middlesbrough at Old Trafford.

In August 1997 Davies signed for Southampton. He made his debut in a 1-0 home loss to Bolton. Davies still possessed a lot of pace at this time, and was a completely different player to the one he would become under Sam Allardyce at Bolton years later. He played a huge role in helping Saints to a respectable 12th place finish for 1997/98. Davies scored his first goal for the club in a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on 27th August 1997. The following weeks saw him net further strikes against Chelsea and Liverpool. Davies entered a rich vein of form in November, with four goals in as many games. On 2nd November 1997 he scored one of the goals of the season at Goodison Park, running half the length of the pitch, before slotting in past Everton's Neville Southall in a 2-0 win. Davies also netted in two Monday night televised games against Chelsea and Manchester United. Saints won both 1-0, but Davies was forced off the pitch against United suffering ankle ligament damage, following a challenge with Denis Irwin. He returned on 7th February in a 3-2 win at Liverpool, but broke down again after just 39 minutes. Davies only play a further two matches that season, his last coming against Wimbledon on 11th April.

In July 1998 Davies signed for Blackburn for £7,500,000. After making his debut in a 0-0 draw against Derby on 15th August 1998, Davies struggled for form as Blackburn spent most of the season battling against relegation. Manager Roy Hodgson was sacked and replaced by Brian Kidd. Davies scored his debut goal for the club in Kidd's first game in charge against Charlton on 5th December 1998. He would go on to net just once more that season (Also against Charlton) as Rovers were relegated to the second tier.

Davies played in Blackburn's first two Division One games in 1999/2000 before rejoining Southampton, in a deal which saw Egil Ostenstad move in the other direction. Davies was sent off in only his third game back; a 2-1 defeat at Leicester on 16th October 1999. He bounced back to score three in as many games over the Christmas/New Year period. Davies's goals came against Chelsea, Watford and Bradford. He also netted later in the season in wins over Aston Villa and Watford at The Dell.

Davies suffered a dip in form during 2000/01. In truth he was never the same player he was from his first spell at the club. He scored just one league goal that campaign (Although to be fair he was sometimes stuck out wide in midfield). Davies wasn't much better during 2001/02, and there were serious question marks over the strikers' fitness, with some accusing him of being slightly overweight. He still managed to chip in with important goals against West Ham and Liverpool in January 2002. In fairness to Davies he was suffered some personal hardship at the time, with his mother suffering from cancer. Saints manager Gordon Strachan said he struggled to fit Davies into the side, because he was too similar to first choice front man James Beattie.

Davies joined Millwall for a two month loan spell in September 2002. He scored three goals before returning to St Marys. Davies made just one league start for Saints during 2002/03, but he did score one of the clubs most important goals, a last minute leveller against former outfit Millwall in the 4th round of the FA Cup. Saints would of course go on to win the replay at The Den and reach the final of the competition. Davies did not react kindly to being dropped from Strachan's cup final squad. Shortly after leaving Southampton, Davies criticised Strachan, saying: "I think he knows I'm a good player, but there was something personal between him and me. He said it was to do with something other than me as a footballer. I proved in training and reserve games I could do it, but I did not get start until the second-last league game of the season. James Beattie had been scoring a lot of goals but the other strikers had done nothing and for me not to start before this was a bit strange. Given the players we had, I thought I would have made the bench." Strachan strenuously denied Davies's claims, insisting there was nothing personal in the decision not to pick him for the cup final.

On 23rd July 2003 Davies signed for Bolton. He was ideally suited to Sam Allardyce's direct style of play. Davies usually operated as a lone striker, brilliantly flicking the ball on and holding up play for others. He often committed more fouls than most other Premier League players, but was also one of the most fouled. Davies made his Bolton debut in a 4-0 defeat to Manchester United on 16th August 2003. A week later he netted his first goal for Wanderers against former club Blackburn. Davies would go on to score 10 goals, helping Bolton to an 8th place finish. He scored the winner former club Southampton on 24th April 2004. Davies got his chance to play in a cup final at the Millennium Stadium on 29th February 2004, less than a year after missing out with Saints. He scored in a 2-1 defeat to Middlesbrough in the League Cup final.

Davies enjoyed another successful season during 2004/05, helping Bolton to a 6th place finish. That term saw him net in a win over Liverpool and a draw over eventual champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The following campaign Davies represented the club in Europe, lining up against the likes of Sevilla and Marseille. He entered a particularly impressive run of form in the latter part of the season, with Bolton securing another top 8 finish.

Davies started 2006/07 well, with a goal in a 2-0 win over Tottenham in the opening week of the season. Bolton would go on to finish 7th, thanks to a great contribution from Davies. He netted against Chelsea, Everton and Aston Villa amongst others. Sam Allardyce left the Reebok Stadium in 2007, but Davies remained a regular starter at the club. He helped the club survive relegation in 2007/08, as Bolton replaced Sammy Lee with Gary Megson. On 8th November 2007 Davies scored in a 2-2 draw with Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.

Davies was back in the goals during 2008/09, netting 11 as Bolton achieved a comfortable mid-table finish. Highlights included a brace over Tottenham in a 3-2 win on 31st January 2009. In 2009/10 Davies entered a rich vein of form following the arrival of Owen Coyle. He was a key man during 2010/11 as Wanderers started the season strongly. In November 2010 he bagged doubles against Spurs and Newcastle.

Davies suffered a dip in form during 2011/12, as Bolton spent the season struggling at the foot of the Premier League table. He improved in the second half of the campaign with goals against Tottenham, Wolves and Sunderland. Davies also netted in the final day draw with Stoke on 13th May 2012. That wasn't enough to keep Wanderers in the Premier League.