Harold Davis (footballer)

Harold Davis (10 May 1933 – 26 June 2018)[2][3] was a Scottish professional footballer, who was best known for his time with Rangers.[4][5]

Harold Davis
Personal information
Date of birth (1933-05-10)10 May 1933
Place of birth Cupar, Scotland[1]
Date of death 26 June 2018(2018-06-26) (aged 85)
Playing position Midfielder, Winger
Youth career
1949–1950 Newburgh[1]
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1950–1956 East Fife 2 (0)
1956–1964 Rangers 168 (8)
1964–1965 Partick Thistle 22 (0)
Total 192 (8)
Teams managed
1965–1968 Queen's Park
1970–1971 Queen of the South
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

PlayerEdit

Born in Fife, Davis and his family moved to Perth after his father was injured during World War II.[3] He began his senior football career at Scot Symon's East Fife and quickly gained praise as a tough tackling, no-nonsense defender, but was drafted for national service in 1951 and shunned easier alternative postings to join the Black Watch.[4][6] Whilst in the army he fought in the Korean War and was seriously injured on the battlefield; he spent two years in hospitals recuperating from bullet wounds to his abdomen and foot.[7][2][3]

While recovering from his injuries, Davis was determined not just to live a 'normal' life but to be extremely fit and overcome any challenge, the first being the medical opinion that he would no longer be able to play professional football.[4][1] His progress impressed David Kinnear, a physiotherapist at the facility who had once played for Rangers, now managed by Scot Symon,[3][2][7] and as a result of the mutual connections Davis signed for the reigning Scottish league champions at the age of 22. He helped them retain their title in his first campaign at Ibrox.

That was the first of seven winner's medals he would claim during eight years at the Glasgow club,[3][1] making 272 appearances in all competitions[8] and also taking part in a continental final when Rangers lost out to Fiorentina in the 1961 European Cup Winners' Cup Final.[3][2][6] He missed out on the 1960 Scottish Cup Final after being injured by a heavy challenge in the semi-final victory over Celtic.[4][7][1]

He then spent a season with Partick Thistle before retiring.[2][6][1]

Coaching careerEdit

Immediately after his playing days ended, Davis had a three-year spell as manager of Queen's Park in Scotland's second tier.[3][6][1] He then returned to Rangers as a coach working with Davie White,[2] followed a year as manager of Queen of the South and a stint coaching at Dundee (again under White, during which they won the 1973 Scottish League Cup Final)[1][4][7] before leaving football to run a hotel in Wester Ross where he was able to continue a passion for fishing.[1][4][6] In 1998, he survived a broken neck sustained in a road accident.[3]

HonoursEdit

Rangers[2][3][8]

1960–61, 1962–63

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Matthew Lindsay (2002). "Rangers legend Harold Davis: Life and career in pictures". Evening Times. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Harold Davis 1933-2018". Rangers FC. 26 June 2018. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Obituary: Harold Davis, Rangers legend". The Scotsman. 29 June 2018. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "The forgotten hero of a forgotten war". The Scotsman. 11 November 2006.
  5. ^ Harold Davis at Post War English & Scottish Football League A–Z Player's Database
  6. ^ a b c d e "Harold Davis (1933-2018): From the Korean front line to footballing glory – and a spot of fishing in Wester Ross". West Highland Free Press. 5 July 2018. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d "Last Action Hero". Rangers official website. October 2007. Archived from the original on 3 January 2008.
  8. ^ a b "Rangers player Harold Davis". FitbaStats. Retrieved 22 December 2018.