A legend to the club today has announced his retirement from football
Let’s cast our eyes back to our last proper success. I’m not talking about beating Blackburn 5-1 a few seasons ago; I’m talking about sustained success.
I think of the Allardyce era, and in some respects the Owen Coyle era. During both of these great times on the pitch for the club, one man was central consistently central to this success. His name is Kevin Davies.
Even before being named captain, Super Kevin Davies led by example. He worked as hard as anyone on the pitch and was happy to take knocks for his team.
He joined as a once highly rated striker whose stock and confidence had plummeted over recent years, having failed to find the form that gained him his big money move to Blackburn. What followed happened to make that the best case scenario possible for a Bolton player- cost a rival team a fortune and fail there before arriving at Bolton for free!
In his first season SKD notched double figures in all competitions, even though goals were a very minor part of his game. Over the following nine seasons, he’d go on to notch 75 more goals. Not spectacular by any means, but very respectable when you factor in everything else he did on the pitch. During the 2008/2009 season I seem to remember him being the highest English scorer in the Premier League which made his lack of international recognition at the time all the more perplexing.
However, Kevin kept his head down and continued to work as hard as ever and was finally rewarded with a call up in October 2010 at the age of 33- the oldest English debutant for 50 years. And in true Kevin Davies fashion, he was booked despite playing around 10 minutes of the game.
The name Kevin Davies just goes hand in hand with the days of Bolton giving the big boys of the Premier League a real run for their money. We’d always compete and put up a fight against the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United with our physical style of play and Davies was at the forefront of it. Be it scoring with broken ankles, angering Patrice Evra or levelling at the Allianz Arena, Davies was always there- not just as a passenger- but playing a huge part in our success.
As our former editor Quentin X said today, we may well never see another player like Kevin Davies play for Bolton again.
We thank you Kevin for everything you’ve done for the club, and I have a funny feeling that this isn’t the last of SKD we’ve seen at Bolton.