Dai Davies – An Obituary

“Goalkeeper” by erix! is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Dai Davies, the former Welsh international goalkeeper passed away this week at the age of 72.
During his 17 years in the game, the Welshman played for Swansea City, Everton, Wrexham, Bangor City and won 52 caps for Wales.

Davies joined Everton from Third Division Swansea City in 1970, just after the Merseysiders had won the First Division title. He adjusted well to the jump up to the top flight and stayed at Goodison Park for seven years. It was during his time at Everton that Davies made his first appearance for the Welsh national team, in a 2-1 defeat away to Hungary in April 1975.

The Welshman made a brief move back to Swansea for a loan spell in 1974 and three years later, he made a permanent move back to Wales, this time to join Wrexham. In his first season at the Racecourse Ground, Wrexham won the Third Division title and reached the FA Cup Quarter Final.

Davies was between the sticks when Wales played in a crucial World Cup Qualifier against Scotland in 1977. The game changed when the referee made a controversial decision to award a penalty against Wales in the last 15 minutes. Scotland scored from the resulting kick and went on to qualify for the World Cup in Argentina the following year.

Davies joined former club Swansea City for a third spell in 1981, in time for their debut season in the top flight of English football. The Swans ended the season in sixth place, but were relegated the following season.

After leaving Swansea, Davies moved to Tranmere Rovers to become the Fourth Division’s player/coach. He then moved to non-league side Bangor City and played in their famous tie against Athletico Madrid in the European Cup Winners Cup. In a fitting moment in the final season of Davies’s playing career, he saved a penalty in the second leg at the Vicente Calderon.

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