Rick Davies (footballer)
|Date of birth||8 April 1952|
|Original team||Prince Alfred College|
|Debut||1970, Sturt (SANFL)|
|Height/Weight||188 cm / 90 kg|
1 Playing statistics correct to end of 1989 season.
Rick Davies (born Evan Rick Davies, 8 April 1952) is a former Australian rules footballer who played with Sturt and South Adelaide in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) and Hawthorn in the Victorian Football League (VFL). Nicknamed the "Jumbo Prince", Davies played a total of 390 games throughout his career (317 for Sturt, 33 for South Adelaide, 20 for Hawthorn, and 20 State Games for South Australia. Though not tall for a ruckman at only 188 cm (6'1"), Davies was known for his strong marking and body strength which he used to great effect against opponents who were often taller and heavier than him.
Rick Davies' senior career began with Sturt in 1970 at age 18. He went on to be named as Sturt's best and fairest player in a record seven of the eight seasons he played for the Double Blues. One of Davies' most noteworthy performances was his dominant display in the 1976 Grand Final victory against Port Adelaide. Davies was judged best on ground on the day when the all-time SANFL record attendance was set when 66,897 fans crammed into Football Park.
In 1981 Davies joined Hawthorn in the VFL. Changes to rules for rucking contests disadvantaged shorter ruckman, and Davies mostly played in the forward pocket, kicking 37 goals. He returned to Sturt in 1982 and was their leading goal kicker for the next three seasons.
In 1983 Davies kicked an SANFL record 151 goals for the season (later beaten in 1990 by Scott Hodges of Port Adelaide who kicked 153), which included 11 goals in a 114-point win over Port Adelaide at the Unley Oval, and a club record 15 against West Adelaide in round eight at Football Park. Davies would play his last Grand Final for Sturt later in the 1983 season when the Double Blues went down to West Adelaide. After averaging over 6 goals per game in 1983, Davies was restricted by Tony Burgess to only two in the Grand Final, with his first in the 3rd quarter making him the first player to ever kick 150 goals in an Australian league season (at the time, the SANFL and Western Australia's WAFL were seen as equal in status to the VFL).
After again leading Sturt's goal kicking in 1984, Davies moved to South Adelaide in 1985, and became playing coach later that season when former Hawthorn teammate Don Scott was sacked. The Panthers finished eighth in 1985 and ninth in 1986, with Davies leading goal kicker with 72 goals in each season from full forward. He retired in at the end of the 1986 season, with a SANFL total of 350 league appearances and 781 goals over 16 seasons.
Rick Davies was a regular interstate representative, with 20 appearances for South Australia from 1973 until 1980, captaining the State in 1979 and 1980. In 1980 Davies was named as captain of the All Australian team.
Rick Davies stayed on as non-playing coach of South Adelaide in 1987. The Panthers finished last and Davies was replaced as coach. In September 1988 he was named as coach of Sturt after Mervyn Keane's controversial departure. Sturt had finished fifth under Keane in 1988 but finished last in 1989 under Davies, who resigned following Sturt's 132-point loss to Glenelg in their last match. The Double Blues continued to struggle after Davies resigned, not recovering until after eight consecutive wooden spoons and a winless 1995 season.
Awards and Achievements
Rick Davies was awarded Life Membership as a player of the Sturt Football Club in 1977. His 781 SANFL goals ranks 5th on the all time list and his 151 goals in 1983 broke the record of 146 set in 1980 by Port Adelaide's Tim Evans, before being bettered by Scott Hodges who kicked 153 in 1990. He was an inaugural inductee into the South Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2002 and his 350 SANFL games for Sturt and South Adelaide qualified him for SANFL Player Life Membership. Davies was named in Sturt's "Team of the Century" as 1st Ruck and forward.
- Lysikatos, John; True blue: the history of the Sturt Football Club; pp. 302-303. ISBN 0959268715
- The Advertiser, September 11, 1989, p. 40
- SA Football HoF - E R (Rick) Davies
- Sturt Team of the Century