A few weeks back I got the chance to speak to Football League legend Kevin Davies about several things, from his early career to his best goal.
I’ve split the interview into two parts – if you want to read the first part (where Kevin tells me about his early career, best player he has come up against and so on) then click here.
In this part of the interview, I speak to the ex-Bolton man about his fondest memory from his time at the Reebok (now Macron) Stadium, his best goal and more!
72: In your very last game – which was at Preston – you managed to come on and play at Wembley. What was that like to end your career on such a massive stage?
Kevin Davies: Obviously at the time I didn’t know it was going to be my last game but it was the reason I went to Preston really. I went to try and get promotion, I said that when I went there and I was pleased to end up being a part of that. I played at the old Wembley and got promoted with Chesterfield during my time there and then to do it 20-odd years later was great. It was a brilliant club with a great set of lads. Everyone wanted to get up those steps and lift some kind of trophy and it ended up being a very proud day for all of us. I loved it.
72: In your career you bagged 150 goals – Are there any that stick out in your mind as being the best or one of your favourites?
Kevin Davies: I think the best goal I ever scored was probably for Southampton against Everton at Goodison Park. It was my first season in the Premier League and it was on Sky Sports. I got the ball just inside my own half and went on a bit of a mazy dribble and went past four, five, six players and then slotted it past the keeper. I think that was probably the best goal I’ve ever scored.
I think my most memorable goal would probably be against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena for Bolton in the Europa League. I scored a late equaliser for us against them and I’ll always remember that one.
72: You were at Bolton for years – What would you say is your fondest memory from your time at the club?
Kevin Davies: There’s too many! Looking back, I remember being given the armband and that was a very proud day for me. In my first game I scored a couple of goals against Tottenham which was great. The quarter-final of the FA Cup when we knew we were going to be going to Wembley is another one. The semi-finals was one of the most memorable games I think for me and it was a great feeling to know you were one step away from getting to the cup final, which I had always dreamed of playing in and winning, although it didn’t quite happen unfortunately! It was still a brilliant game though and a brilliant atmosphere and that game sticks out as being a memorable one as well.
There really are too many good memories from my time there though. We qualified for Europe for the first time in the club’s history and that was another great moment. So there are plenty! We had a great side, especially for the first six or seven years, packed full of top players! It was a full house at the Reebok and it was rocking and we were even pushing for Champions League at one stage. I just loved the whole experience. Obviously getting relegated was disappointing and then being released was heartbreaking but I have lots of great memories from my time there and it was a great period for me and I can look back and be very proud of my time there.
72: Is there anything you perhaps regret about your career?
Kevin Davies: Not really! I think all the teams that I’ve played for have had success except for Blackburn. I went there for a lot of money and I don’t regret going there at all but it just didn’t work out. We were relegated that year which was a difficult period. I was there in my early twenties and I was just so unhappy there. But I don’t regret making the move there and I honestly don’t think I have any regrets about any of my career. I played over 800 games and I managed to play in the Premier League and even played for England. No regrets.
72: Finally, what do you think the fans mostly don’t understand about what it’s like to be a footballer?
Kevin Davies: Probably in this day and age it’s the dedication that you need to have as a footballer and the sacrifices that you need to make. You’re never really able to plan anything and week to week you never know what you are going to be doing on your days off. It makes it hard to plan stuff with your family and kids, they’re always waiting on you to see if you are free.
You can’t complain about it though really! Thousands and thousands of kids would love to be a professional footballer but there is a lot more that comes with it now, there is a lot more pressure on kids with all the training and dedication that you need to have if you want to make it. Modern day footballers as well have to have things like ice baths and do yoga and it really is a professional job these days, probably more so than when I first started playing. It’s harder to socialise as well with your friends sometimes because of the commitment and dedication you have to have to football.
What a career the striker has had. He’s played for seven teams, played over 700 games, bagged 150 goals and there is no doubt he has written his name in the history books with such a long and storied career. It may not be the last we see of Kevin in football though, if his thoughts on management are anything to go off!
Big thanks to Kevin for letting me have the chance to chat with him and we at the 72 wish him the best of luck with whatever he chooses to do next – whether it be management, punditry or a few rounds of golf!