|Full name||Harry Donald Davies|
13 March 1892|
Manchester, Lancashire, England
|Died||6 February 1958
Munich-Riem Airport, Germany
|Batting style||Right-handed batsman|
|Domestic team information|
|First-class debut||28 May 1924 Lancashire v Kent|
|Last First-class||29 August 1925 Lancashire v Kent|
|Source: CricketArchive, 29 August 1925|
A talented footballer in his youth, Davies played as a right winger for the Northern Nomads F.C. and Port Vale. 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.
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. He appeared in 11 first-class matches as a righthanded batsman, scoring 260 runs with a highest score of 46, and held four catches. Davies made his highest score of 46 in his debut innings, against Kent at Old Trafford before being dismissed by Test bowler Tich Freeman.
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.
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.
- Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 79. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0.
- "Port Vale: The Vale hero who died that Munich night". The Sentinel. 5 February 2009. Retrieved 5 February 2009.
- "Cricinfo: Don Davies". Cricinfo.
- Donny Davies at CricketArchive
- "Lancashire v Kent 1924". CricketArchive.
- Williams, Richard (2 February 2008). "Presses stopped in Manchester as Guardian man confirmed dead". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 1 May 2010.