Donny Davies

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Don Davies
Personal information
Full name Harry Donald Davies
Born (1892-03-13)13 March 1892
Manchester, Lancashire, England
Died 6 February 1958(1958-02-06) (aged 65)
Munich-Riem Airport, Germany
Nickname Don, Donny
Batting style Right-handed batsman
Role Batsman
Domestic team information
Years Team
1924–1925 Lancashire
First-class debut 28 May 1924 Lancashire v Kent
Last First-class 29 August 1925 Lancashire v Kent
Career statistics
Competition First-class
Matches 11
Runs scored 260
Batting average 17.33
100s/50s 0/0
Top score 46
Balls bowled
Wickets
Bowling average
5 wickets in innings
10 wickets in match
Best bowling
Catches/stumpings 4/0
Source: CricketArchive, 29 August 1925

Harry Donald 'Donny' Davies (13 March 1892 – 6 February 1958) was an English first-class cricketer, amateur footballer and journalist. He was killed in the Munich air disaster.

Sporting career[edit]

A talented footballer in his youth, Davies played as a right winger for the Northern Nomads F.C. and Port Vale.[1][2] He was capped three times for the England national amateur football team in 1914, with tours of Austria, Hungary and Romania. Also in 1914 he was offered a professional contract with Stoke City but as war had broken out he instead decided to join the Royal Flying Corps. Just a fortnight after receiving his wings, Davies was shot down over the French town of Douai, captured, and placed in a German Prisoner of War camp. When he eventually returned to England he weighed only six stones and army doctors had given him no more than six months to live.[3]

Davies recovered from his ordeal and took up sport again, playing cricket for Bradshaw in the Bolton League. He was lured to Lancashire and spent the 1924 and 1925 seasons there as an amateur. His 11 first-class appearances weren't spectacular as he failed to score a half century despite being a specialist right-handed middle order batsman. Davies made his highest score of 46 in his debut innings, against Kent at Old Trafford before being dismissed by Test player Tich Freeman.[4]

Journalist career[edit]

In 1932, having begun his journalism career two years earlier, Davies was given a job with The Guardian newspaper in Manchester and was their football reporter under the name "An Old International". He also did some work on the radio for the BBC. Davies served as a member of the Lancashire committee from 1930 to 1956 and in 1957, just before his death, was appointed vice-president.

Death[edit]

On 6 February 1958, a plane carrying Davies, other journalists and the Manchester United squad crashed on take off from Munich-Riem Airport in Germany. Davies, who had spent the 1950s covering Manchester United's footballing exploits, was killed along with 22 others. They had been returning from a European Cup tie in Belgrade. John Arlott, who had covered Manchester United's game at Highbury a week earlier, was originally meant to take Davies spot on the trip to Belgrade as the 'Old International' was unavailable. Davies however expressed a desire to attend the trip at the last moment and replaced Arlott. He was 65 at the time of his death, and was the oldest victim of the tragedy.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 79. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0. 
  2. ^ "Port Vale: The Vale hero who died that Munich night". The Sentinel. 5 February 2009. Retrieved 5 February 2009. 
  3. ^ "Cricinfo: Don Davies". Cricinfo. 
  4. ^ "Lancashire v Kent 1924". CricketArchive. 
  5. ^ Williams, Richard (2 February 2008). "Presses stopped in Manchester as Guardian man confirmed dead". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 1 May 2010.