Richmond Davis

Richmond Davis

Richmond Davis was born in Walsall in April 1861. He played for Walsall Swifts before joining Aston Villa in August 1884.

Tony Matthews argues in his book, Who's Who of Aston Villa that "Davis enjoyed running with the ball but was somewhat greedy at times and lost possession in dangerous situations."

Aston Villa did very well in the 1886-87 season. They lost very few games and scored over 130 goals in the process. Stars of the team included Archie Hunter, Richmond Davis, Albert Brown, Arthur Brown, Dennis Hodgetts and Howard Vaughton.

Aston Villa also had a good run in the 1886-87 FA Cup. They beat Wolverhampton Wanderers (2-0), Horncastle (5-0), Darwen (3-2) and Glasgow Rangers (3-1) to reach the final for the first time. Their local rivals, West Bromwich Albion, also reached the final.

The final was to be played at the Kennington Oval. The experienced Archie Hunter believed that this ground would be to the advantage of Aston Villa: "Our style of play is suited to a big ground, and the Albion with their long passing have the advantage on a small field. On the Oval we both shall have an equal chance, and where things are equal the short passing game is always the best. These are my reasons for thinking we will win on Saturday."

West Bromwich Albion was the better team in the first-half. However, in the second-half Aston Villa took control and it was no surprise when Richmond Davis, the team's outside-right, crossed for Dennis Hodgetts to sidefoot the ball in the net. WBA players claimed that Hodgetts was offside but the referee, Francis Marindin, who was also president of the Football Association, refused to change his mind.

In the 89th minute Archie Hunter raced through the West Bromwich Albion defence. He appeared to have pushed the ball too far ahead of him and the WBA goalkeeper, Bob Roberts, dashed forward but Hunter, stretching to the full, managed to get one final touch on the ball. As Hunter and Roberts collided the ball trickled over the line. Hunter was the first player to score in every round of the FA Cup competition.

Davis suffered a serious knee injury and was forced to retire from professional football in May 1888.

Richmond Davis died in Birmingham in 1934.