At 183 cm (6 feet) in height, Davis was noted for his pace and tenacity. He was one of the fastest players in the League at the time, and was known in the press as "The Geelong Flyer", named after the express train that ran from Melbourne to Geelong in only 55 minutes.
Davis represented Victoria on 13 occasions, as well as the captaining Geelong from 1955–1958. He played in two premierships for Geelong, in 1951 and 1952. He also coached the club, first in 1956, and then from 1960 to 1965, which included coaching Geelong to the VFL premiership in 1963, defeating Hawthorn.
During his career, Davis was a popular character off the field, with his much-imitated flamboyant voice – in particular the phrase "fair dinkum unbelievable", which has been imitated many times in the football world, usually with humorous but respectful intent. He appeared on many television shows in the 1970s and '80s, including World of Sport and League Teams with Lou Richards and Jack Dyer.
He died in hospital on 16 May 2011 after a long battle with illness in his last months. Before the Carlton-Geelong game later that week they held a minute's silence.
Clunes Football Club Davis's original club scrapped their traditional Black and White for a one off tribute game post his death. They donned Geelong style jerseys for 1 game, and displayed both clubs logos and the name Bob Davis on the back.