Dai Davies (footballer, born 1948)

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For the Wales international rugby union player, see Dai Davies (rugby player born 1925).
Dai Davies
Personal information
Full name William David Davies
Date of birth (1948-04-01) 1 April 1948 (age 67)
Place of birth Glanaman, Wales
Playing position Goalkeeper
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1969–1970 Swansea City 9 (0)
1970–1977 Everton 82 (0)
1974 Swansea City (loan) 6 (0)
1977–1981 Wrexham 144 (0)
1981–1983 Swansea City 71 (0)
1983–1984 Tranmere Rovers 42 (0)
1985 Bangor City
1986 Wrexham 0 (0)
National team
1975–1982 Wales 52 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

William David Davies, better known as Dai Davies (born 1 April 1948 in Glanaman, Wales), is a former professional footballer, who played in goal between 1969 and 1987. He made 52 appearances for the Wales national football team, and played for Everton, Wrexham (twice), Tranmere Rovers and three spells at Swansea City.


David 'Dai' Davies ('Dai' being the Welsh diminutive for 'David') was born in Glanamman in the Amman valley on 1 April 1948. His father was an amateur footballer, who had trials with Wolverhampton Wanderers and Sheffield United.[1]

Dai attended Amman Valley Grammar School, Ammanford, where he was often known affectionately as Dai Dai. He showed ability as a goalkeeper from an extremely early age, being picked for the village under-18 team when only 12 years old, and playing for nearby Ammanford Town's adult team at just 15.

In school, Davies played both football and rugby union, appearing for West Wales School in the Second Row, alongside such Welsh rugby greats as Paul Ringer, Barry Llywelyn, Peter Nicholas and Selwyn Williams. He finished playing rugby when the local football club he played for, Ammanford United, lost 4–0, with Davies being at fault for all four goals, after playing a full rugby match a few hours earlier.

Davies played schoolboy and youth football with local clubs (Ammanford United, and then Ammanford Town) – football was not played at the local grammar school – before becoming a professional footballer at the age of 21, in 1969, after qualifying as a PE teacher. He signed for Swansea Town immediately after leaving training college, as Swansea Town were offering him £17.50 a week, while a teacher's salary at that time was just £14 a week.

Footballing career[edit]

The Swansea youth team (which also featured Giorgio Chinaglia) had an excellent run in the English Youth Cup, losing to Wolverhampton Wanderers' youth team in the fourth round. Davies was spotted by an Everton scout, and after just over a year at Third Division Swansea City, Dai Davies signed for First Division Everton, then Football League champions in December 1970 for £40,000. He played for Everton for 7 seasons.

In 1977, Davies moved to Wrexham, and in his first season with the club, Wrexham experienced their lowest number of defeats in a season on their way to winning the Football League Division Three title. In 1981 he returned to play for Swansea, and then in 1983 he joined Tranmere Rovers as player-coach. Davies then retired, before returning to play for Bangor City in the 1985–86 European Cup Winners' Cup.[2]

He then returned to Wrexham and won a Welsh Cup medal in 1985/86,[2] but did not play in any further Football League games for them.[3] Davies played 199 games in total for Wrexham, conceding a total of 210 goals (an average of 1.06 goals a game), and kept 63 'clean sheets'.[1]

Davies made his Welsh international debut on 16 April 1975 against Hungary, and went on to miss just 6 of the next 57 Wales matches to finish with a total of 52 caps. He received 28 of his caps while playing for Wrexham. His last appearance for Wales came against France on 2 June 1982.[4]

After retirement from football[edit]

Dai Davies's autobiography was published first in Welsh, where it bore the title Hanner Cystal a' Nhad ('Half the Man my Father Was') in tribute to his father. It was later published in an English translation in 1986, by when its title had become 'Never Say Dai', a pun.

Davies was a part-owner of a Welsh book and craft shop (Siop y Siswrn) in Mold, Flintshire, and is a football commentator on S4C, in both English and Welsh. Still a qualified teacher, he often works as a supply teacher and spent a time in 1990 working in as a PE teacher for Holywell High School. He runs a natural healing centre in Llangollen, North Wales, specialising in herbal remedies, remedial massage, muscle work, pilates and reiki.[5]

In November 2008, he sold more than 30 items at Bonhams auctioneers in Chester, with the highest-priced item – a 1980–81 full Welsh international cap – fetching £1,200. A 1982–83 full Welsh international cap sold for £1,140, and a swapped Scotland shirt worn by Graham Souness sold for £1,020.[6]

Davies is also a Druid, having been initiated into the Welsh Gorsedd of Bards (Gorsedd y Beirdd Ynys Prydain) in 1978.[7]


  1. ^ a b "Introduction". Dai Davies: Wales goalkeeper. terrynorm.ic24.net. 28 September 2010. Retrieved 3 November 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Summary of Career". 'Wales: The Complete Who's Who of footballers since 1946', Dean P. Hayes, 2004, pages 159–161. Terrynorm.ic24.net. 28 September 2011. Retrieved 3 November 2011. 
  3. ^ "Dai Davies". Post War English & Scottish Football League A – Z Player's Database. Neil Brown. Retrieved 3 November 2011. 
  4. ^ International career summary and list of Wales appearances 1980–82 at Sporting Heroes
  5. ^ http://www.terrynorm.ic24.net/dai%20davies.htm
  6. ^ "Ex-keeper's memorabilia auctioned". BBC Wales. 19 November 2008. Retrieved 19 November 2008. 
  7. ^ "The heavenly virtues: 10 pious types". The Guardian. 22 May 2009. Retrieved 15 March 2011. 
  • Hanner Cystal a' Nhad ('Half the Man my Father Was') – The autobiography of Wales goalkeeper Dai Davies (Published by Siop y Siswrn, Mold, Flintshire, 1984)
  • Never Say Dai – English translation of Hanner Cystal a' Nhad, translated by Iorweth Roberts (Published by Siop y Siswrn, Mold, Flintshire, 1986)

External links[edit]