David Davies (rugby league born 1902)
Ogden's cigarette card featuring Dai Davies
|Full name||David Morgan Davies|
5 May 1902|
|Died||22 February 1992(aged 89)|
David "Dai" Morgan Davies (5 May 1902 – 22 February 1992) was a Welsh professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1920s, and 1930s, playing at international level for Wales, and at club level for Broughton Rangers, Warrington, Huddersfield, and Keighley, as a scrum half, i.e. number 7. Dai Davies was on the losing side in four Challenge Cup finals with three separate clubs; Warrington (1928 and 1933), Huddersfield (1935), and Keighley (1937).
Davies played rugby union for Amman United and Neath RFC before switching codes and joining Broughton Rangers in 1926. The following year he moved to Warrington, being paid a signing-on fee of £250, the payment of signing-on fees was widespread but not in accordance with Rugby Football League rules.
Davies remained with Warrington for eight seasons, appearing on the losing side in two Challenge Cup finals, the first the 3–5 defeat by Swinton in the 1928 Challenge Cup Final at Central Park, Wigan in April 1928; the second a 17–21 defeat by Huddersfield in the 1933 Challenge Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, London on 6 May 1933, a game in which Davies scoring two tries. He did win one trophy scoring a try in Warrington's 10–9 victory over St.Helens in the 1932 Lancashire Cup Final during the 1932–33 season at Central Park, Wigan on Saturday 19 November 1932.
In 1934 Davies joined Huddersfield for whom he appeared in a third Challenge Cup final as Huddersfield lost 8–11 to Castleford in the 1935 Challenge Cup Final at Wembley on 4 May 1935, in front of a crowd of 39,000,
Davies moved to Keighley in August 1936 for a fee of £200, and captaining the team in their only Challenge Cup final to date, a 5–18 defeat by Widnes in the 1937 Challenge Cup Final at Wembley on Saturday 8 May 1937, in front of a crowd of 47,699.
The Challenge Cup final appearance for Keighley was Davies' last game, despite an offer to join Newcastle, he decided to retire from a playing career and became a coach for the Warrington Junior Rugby League, a post he held until the Second World War.
The record of playing in four Challenge Cup finals and being on the losing team in all of them was an unwanted record that Davies held until Paul Loughlin played in five losing finals in the 1980s, and 1990s.
International and representative honours
At international level Davies won four caps for Wales from 1928 to 1935 while at Warrington. He also appeared once for the Other Nationalities in a 35–19 victory over England at Thrum Hall, Halifax in 1930, a game in which he scored two tries as well as three appearances for the Rugby League XIII between 1929 and 1934.
Having left school aged 14, Davies had started his working career in the collieries of his native South Wales and throughout his rugby career held other jobs to supplement his rugby payments. After leaving the game during the Second World War he returned to Wales and resumed a career as a pitman. After the war he ran a public house in Warrington while also working as part of the Warrington club's coaching staff. A final return to Wales in 1952 followed and for the remainder of his working life he worked in the pits.
Davies married Katie Rees (1909–1985) in 1932 and they had two children. Dai Davies died in 1992, aged 89.
- Melling (1994), p. 1.
- Melling (1994), pp. 90–91.
- Williams, Lush & Farrar (2009), pp. 108–114.
- Melling (1994), preface.
- Collins (2006), p. 43.
- Collins (2006), p. 45.
- Melling (1994), p. 30.
- "Rugby League Cup for Castleford". Yorkshire Post. 6 May 1935. p. 30.
- Lund (1997), p. 54.
- Melling (1994), pp. 69–70.
- Slater (2012), p. 162.
- Melling (1994), p. 55.
- Melling (1994), pp. 86–89.
- Collins, Tony (2006). Rugby League in Twentieth Century Britain. Routledge. ISBN 978-0415396158.
- Lund, Brian (1997). Daring to Dream: The story of Keighley Cougars. ISBN 1 900138 24 7.
- Melling, Phil (1994). Man of Amman: The Life of Dai Davies. Gomez. ISBN 1 85902 083 6.
- Slater, Gary (2012). The Warrington Wolves Miscellany. ISBN 978 075249 025 0.
- Williams, Graham; Lush, Peter; Farrar, David (2009). The British Rugby League Records Book. London League. ISBN 978-1-903659-49-6.