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Leonard Stephen Davies (28 April 1899 – 1945) was a Welsh professional footballer. He remains the record goalscorer for Cardiff City in both league and all competitions having scored 179 goals for the club between 1919 and 1931. His involvement with the club coincided with their greatest period, a term in which Cardiff consolidated their position in the First Division and in which they regularly did well in the FA Cup. He also represented Wales at international level.

Len Davies
Personal information
Full name Leonard Stephen Davies
Date of birth (1899-04-28)28 April 1899
Place of birth Splott, Cardiff, Wales
Date of death 1945 (aged 45–46)
Place of death Prescot, England
Playing position Forward
Youth career
Victoria Athletic
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1919–1931 Cardiff City 306 (128)
1931–1932 Thames 27 (12)
1932–1935 Bangor City 10 (2)
Total 343 (142)
National team
1922–1929 Wales 23 (6)
Teams managed
1932–1935 Bangor City
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Early lifeEdit

Born in the Splott district of Cardiff, Davies trained as a marine engineer in his teens.[1] He also played cricket at youth level for Glamorgan County Cricket Club.[2]

CareerEdit

Davies began his career with Victoria Athletic before joining Cardiff City in 1919, making his debut in the 1919–20 season in a 2–2 draw with Luton Town on 13 September 1919 in the Southern Football League.[3] The following season, he played for Cardiff in their first ever season in the Football League. He scored 17 times in the 1921–22 season, including Cardiff's first hat-trick in the Football League on 21 January 1922 during a 6–3 victory over Bradford City.[4] Davies made a goalscoring debut for Wales on 4 February 1922 in a 2–1 win over Scotland.[5]

Davies scored 19 league goals the following season, with 23 in 1923–24 and 19 in 1924–25, going on to score 128 goals for the Bluebirds in 305 league matches for the club (115 in the First Division between 1921 and 1928) Unfortunately, Davies' place in history is for his part in the closest League Championship finish in history. On the final day of the 1923–24 season with Cardiff City needing to win to take the title, Davies missed a late penalty kick against Birmingham City as the match finished 0–0,[1] ensuring that Herbert Chapman's Huddersfield Town won the title by 0.024 of a goal.[6]

Davies missed out on a place in the team for the 1925 FA Cup final defeat against Sheffield United but, in 1927, was part of the Cardiff side that beat Arsenal to take the FA Cup out of England for the first, and so far, only time. The only goal of the game coming as the opposition goalkeeper was unable to control a shot from Hughie Ferguson as Davies advanced on him.[1]

Davies played 23 times for the Welsh national side, scoring six times and helping Wales to Home Championship titles in 1924 and 1928. His last game for Wales came on 20 November 1929 against England.[7]

Davies left Cardiff in 1931, one year after finishing as the club's top scorer for the fifth time in The Football League, joining Thames. Thames finished bottom of the Third Division South in the 1931–32 season and the club was wound up at the end of the season. Davies became manager of Bangor City for the 1932-33 season, staying with the club until 1935.[1]

Later lifeEdit

He eventually became a school sports coach at Mostyn House School, Parkgate and later worked on an aircraft production line during World War II.[2] He died of pneumonia in Prescot in 1945.[8]

International goalsEdit

Results list Wales' goal tally first.
Goal Date Venue Opponent Result Competition
1. 4 February 1922 Racecourse Ground, Wrexham, Wales   Scotland 2–1 1922 British Home Championship
2. 1 April 1922 Windsor Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland   Ireland 1–1 1922 British Home Championship
3. 16 February 1924 Ninian Park, Cardiff, Wales   Scotland 2–0 1924 British Home Championship
4. 12 February 1927 Racecourse Ground, Wrexham, Wales   England 3–3 1927 British Home Championship
5. 12 February 1927 Racecourse Ground, Wrexham, Wales   England 3–3 1927 British Home Championship
6. 26 October 1929 Ninian Park, Cardiff, Wales   Scotland 2–4 1929 British Home Championship

HonoursEdit

As a playerEdit

Cardiff City[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e Hayes, Dean (2006). The Who's Who of Cardiff City. Derby: Breedon Books. p. 47. ISBN 1-85983-462-0.
  2. ^ a b Peter Shuttleworth (4 January 2009). "Cup Friends Reunited". BBC Sport. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  3. ^ Shepherd, Richard (2002). The Definitive: Cardiff City F.C. Nottingham: SoccerData Publications. pp. 21–32. ISBN 1-899-46817-X.
  4. ^ "The roaring twenties". Cardiff City F.C. 17 November 2004. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  5. ^ "Wales 2-1 Scotland". Welsh Football Data Archive. Retrieved 9 June 2010.
  6. ^ "Looking back to 1924: Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town were Britain's best". WalesOnline. 8 February 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
  7. ^ "England 6-0 Wales". Welsh Football Data Archive. Retrieved 20 December 2009.
  8. ^ Davies, Gareth; Garland, Ian (1991). Who's Who of Welsh International Soccer Players. Bridge Books. p. 39. ISBN 1-872424-11-2.