Billy Davies

Billy Davies : Blackburn Rovers

William (Billy) Davies was born in Wrexham, Wales, on 13th April, 1882. He played local football for St Giles and Victoria before joining Wrexham. A high-scoring centre-forward, Davies joined Blackburn Rovers in 1905.

Blackburn Rovers finished in 9th place in the 1905-06 season. Adam Bowman was once again the club's top scorer with 15 goals. Davies had a good first season with 11 goals.

Robert Middleton , the chairman of Blackburn Rovers, made several significant signings that year, including Jack Martin, Edwin Latheron, and Wattie Aitkenhead. Kelly Houlker, who had played for Blackburn between 1896 and 1901, also rejoined the club.

Lawrence Cotton helped to raise the money to improve the Elwood Park ground. On 1st January, 1907, the recently constructed Nuttell Street Stand was opened. It could accommodate 4,112 supporters seated in the upper tier, with room for a further 9,320 standing in front. A crowd of 35,000 watched Blackburn draw 1-1 with Preston North End.

Blackburn Rovers finished in 12th place in the 1906-07 season. They were knocked out of the FA Cup by Tottenham Hotspur but won the Lancashire Cup when they beat Liverpool 3-0. Jack Martin proved to be a great buy and ended up the club's leading scorer with 17 goals. Davies spent most of that season injured.

1907-08 season was very disappointing. Blackburn Rovers was knocked out of the FA Cup in the first round when they were defeated by Second Division Leicester Fosse. They also had a first round exit in the Lancashire Cup. Blackburn's league form was little better and after a late rally they finished in 14th place. Billy Davies, Edwin Latheron and Jack Martin, ended up as joint top scorers with 9 goals each.

Blackburn's new signings failed to shine. The Blackburn Times commented: "The second-rate players might advantageously be reduced and the money thus saved be utilized in paying the maximum wage to first-class men."

Robert Middleton appointed the former Preston North End star, Bob Holmes, as trainer. This had a good impact on the team as they obtain 4th place in the 1908-09 season. Billy Davies scored 19 goals in 27 league appearances. This included four goals against both Bristol City and Everton. Ellis Crompton (10) and Edwin Latheron (9) added to the impressive number of goals scored that season. Blackburn also won the Lancashire Cup and the East Lancashire Charity Cup that season.

Blackburn Rovers continued their good form the following season and by October 1909 they became leaders of the First Division of the Football League. They lost their position in January 1910 and finally finished in 3rd place behind Aston Villa and Liverpool. Blackburn's 45 points was the best total they had ever accumulated in a season. Blackburn's defence was outstanding but an injury to Billy Davies caused the club serious problems in front of goal. Wattie Aitkenhead was top scorer with 14 goals and the consistent Edwin Latheron added 10 more.

Blackburn's away form in the 1910-11 season was disastrous with their only win coming on the last day of the season. Although they won 12 games at home they could only finish in mid-table. This was very disappointing considering their 3rd and 4th positions in the previous two seasons. Top scorers were Billy Davies (16), Wattie Aitkenhead (13) and Edwin Latheron (11).

Davies, who had won eleven Welsh international caps during his career, was forced to retire in 1911. During his time at Blackburn Rovers he had scored 66 goals in 132 games.

William Davies died in 1966 .