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Anyone remember Alan Davies?

Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:34 pm

No not the star of Johnathan Creek, but the footballer. He didn't play much for us, only about 7 games.


Born in Manchester to Welsh parents, Davies began his football career at Manchester United, signing for the club on associate schoolboy forms in November 1976. He signed as an apprentice two years later before turning professional at the age of 17 in December 1978. After progressing through the club's youth and reserve teams, Davies was selected for the first team for the first time on 6 January 1982, being named as a substitute for a First Division match at home to Everton. However, he did not make the field that day, and had to wait another four months for his debut.

On 1 May 1982, Davies was named as the starting left winger for a home game against Southampton. Although he was heavily involved in the club's pre-season programme in 1982, including a short tour of Iceland, Davies returned to relative obscurity for the majority of the 1982–83 season, toiling away for the reserves in the Central League. However, towards the end of the season, Steve Coppell was forced into retirement by a knee injury he had picked up two years earlier, suddenly making Davies the club's first choice right winger. He played in five of United's final six games of the season, including both matches in the 1983 FA Cup Final against Brighton & Hove Albion.

Unfortunately for Davies, he then suffered a broken ankle and torn ligaments playing for the reserves in a pre-season friendly against Stamford. A six-month absence followed, and he struggled to get back into the first team. There was a glimmer of hope for Davies' career when he scored in the first leg of the Cup Winners' Cup semi-final against Juventus, after coming on as a substitute for John Gidman, but he only made three more appearances for the Manchester United first team after that. He remained on the club's books until the end of the 1984–85 season, making the odd appearance as an unused substitute, but he was eventually sold to Newcastle United for £65,000 in July 1985.

Davies' time with Newcastle United started promisingly, with the Welsh winger making 17 appearances in the first half of the 1985–86 season. However, he fell out of favour in the new year and was loaned out to Charlton Athletic in March 1986. Upon his return to Newcastle, he was given another chance to make an impression, making five appearances in the first two months of the 1986–87 season, but he was again loaned out in November 1986, this time to Carlisle United. Davies returned to Newcastle in January 1987, but only made two more appearances for the Magpies before being transferred to Swansea City in August 1987.

Davies found much more success at Swansea, playing in 84 matches in two seasons there, and even scoring eight goals. He then transferred to Bradford City for a season in June 1989. After 26 appearances and one goal for the Bantams, Davies returned to Swansea City, where he spent almost two more seasons, scoring a further four goals in 43 appearances. However, on 4 February 1992, Davies was found dead in his car near his home in South Wales, at the age of just 30. He had committed suicide.

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Re: Anyone remember Alan Davies?

Mon Dec 07, 2009 9:24 pm

Yes trys I remember him quite well. He was virtually unknown even at OT prior to breaking into the team just before the 83 Cup FInal (and I was there!). With Stevie Coppells longstanding dodgy knees finally giving way, he was brilliant in that first Cup final, when we underperformed really, and he was arguably our best player that day. We won the reply easily and he played his full part in that game too.

He lloked like he had a great future ahead, but then got that serious injury and Big Ron realised that with him out injured and Stevie C's career almost done, he had to act. Over the next several seasons, Gordon Strachan and Jesper Olsen became fixtures on the wings in the team and he could never regain his place against 2 such talented players. As it says above he moved on to enjoy some success at other clubs.

I remember reading about his suicide with shock at the time..cant believe it was 17 years ago! Dont quote me on this as its from memory, but I believe he had both money (gambling?) and personal problems..I really cant remember any more detail about it. Very sad end to a promising career and a tragically short life.

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Re: Anyone remember Alan Davies?

Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:51 am

Yeah, I remember the poor guy - his suicide was during our failed League Title bid of 1991-92 Season, so not a good time. I've got the 1983 FA Cup Final and Replay on video - remember how well he did.

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Re: Anyone remember Alan Davies?

Thu Dec 17, 2015 11:04 pm

I remember Alan. I have very fond memories of him

He was a great lad, very popular at primary school, where I first met and got to know him, We wasn't best mates or anything like that, but our circle of friends touched, is the best way I can put it
He knew me and a knew him, He was always into his sport. Whatever it was, he thrived upon it, I was the polar opposite, but every now n. Then we would chat, our worlds colliding, our differences set aside
When secondary school came along, I lost contact, but as a weird twist of fate, when we left school my circle of friends and his would meet up in local pubs, We were under age drinkers, we shared some good nights, lots of laughs, Alan was signed to Manchester United by now, and destined for great things, It seemed to me that all his childhood dreams had come true
I was, and still am, flabbergasted, to say the very least, what was my friend going through? Again, I know he wasn't my best friend, I wish he was, maybe he would have said something? Perhaps not
I can say, in all honesty in the years I knew this talented young man, he was a inspiration, You felt refreshed just by being in his company, and I for one feel very homered to have known him and call him my friend.

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Re: Anyone remember Alan Davies?

Tue May 19, 2020 1:20 am

I did know Alan. We competed against each other in athletic competitions in the mid-70s. He was known for his footy skills then, I also went to school with him. He was a quiet, shy lad as I recall. Quite modest and self contained. I was not impressed by football or sport particularly in those days. I had no idea he went on to play for Man Utd. It was much later, 2002, that I heard again about Alan from a Welsh co-worker. I heard he had gambling debts and a failing marriage. Whatever the case, he was a decent lad and it's tragic that he took his own life. It seems to have been unrepresented. Rest in peace fella.

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