Steve Davis (footballer, born 1965)
Davis in 2012
|Full name||Steven Peter Davis|
|Date of birth||26 July 1965|
|Place of birth||Birmingham, England|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|1997||→ York City (loan)||2||(1)|
|1998||→ Oxford United (loan)||7||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Steven Peter "Steve" Davis (born 26 July 1965) is an English former professional footballer who played as a defender. He was manager at League Two club Crewe Alexandra from November 2011 until January 2017. At the time of his sacking by Crewe, he was the fourth longest serving manager in the top four divisions of English football.
Born in Birmingham, Davis started his career with Stoke City as an apprentice in 1982 but never made a senior appearance. However, he played more than 140 matches for both Crewe Alexandra and Burnley, making his Crewe debut at the age of 18, and captaining the side aged 19. He was also a key figure in the time he was at Burnley. He then played over 100 games for Barnsley in Division 1, in which they won promotion to the Premier League. He had loan spells at York City and Oxford United, eventually being signed by Division 1 outfit, Oxford United in 1998.
However, his managerial career at Nantwich Town was the most successful time in the club's long history, converting a club that had never achieved anything above the North West Counties League to one that was challenging for a Conference spot. He led Nantwich to two promotions in three seasons and a FA Vase victory, just missing out on promotion to the Conference North at the end of the 2008–09 season. His abilities attracted the attention of Crewe Alexandra, where he had spent four seasons as a player. On 17 May 2009, it was announced that he would become assistant manager to Gudjon Thordarson at Crewe.
Davis remained as Thordarson's assistant through the Icelandics short lived tenure at Gresty Road before the former Stoke City manager was relieved of his role in October 2009. Taking up the vacant manager's role was Dario Gradi, now in his third stint as Crewe manager kept Davis as his assistant manager. Gradi remained in the managerial position at the club until the autumn of 2011 his position was starting to become questioned by the Crewe fans, this was only galvanised further by a 3–0 home defeat to Torquay United which left the club near the relegation zone. Although Gradi was still manager of the club, Davis took charge of the next game against Oldham in the Football League Trophy after the Crewe manager could not attend after feeling unwell. Although Crewe lost the game 3–1, Davis was appointed the new Crewe manager a couple of days later with Gradi moving to his former role as Technical Director - a role he took following the appointment of Steve Holland as first team coach back in the summer of 2007.
Promoting coach Neil Baker as his assistant manager, Davis' first match, officially, as Crewe manager was a home FA Cup tie to Colchester United. Although the railwaymen lost the tie 4–1, Davis' brief for the remainder season was specific: keep Crewe in the football league. Davis was successful in his target keeping Crewe in the football league and, in a run that saw the club go sixteen games unbeaten, the English manager helped Crewe qualify for the League Two play-offs. Following a 3–2 win over two legs with Southend United and a 2–0 win over Cheltenham Town at Wembley, Davis' side were promoted to League One.
Davis had lost two key figures in that season's promotion campaign in the summer with Nick Powell completing a three million pound transfer to Manchester United and captain Ashley Westwood for an undisclosed fee to Aston Villa but they were replaced by a number of summer signings such as forward Mathias Pogba, defender Mark Ellis and midfielder Abdul Osman. Davis successfully secured safety in League One in his first season and also guided his team to a second Wembley appearance this time in the final of the Football League Trophy against Southend. The Railwaymen won the tie 2–0 with goals from Luke Murphy and Max Clayton.
As with the previous summer, Davis lost a key member of his midfield this time in the form of Luke Murphy who left the club for Championship side Leeds United in 2013 for a million pounds. Despite a brief period linking him with the vacant Wolves managerial position, Davis remained at the Alex. The 2013–14 season was less successful than Davis' previous seasons, compacted even more after seven first team players were held by Devon and Cornwall Police for an alleged sexual assault during the team's pre-season training in Redruth. The players were cleared of all charges in November, a few months into the new campaign. Davis described the decision as a "noose being removed from our necks" citing the case as one of the reasons for the team's poor start to the campaign. Further to the sex assault allegations, Davis was also having attitude issues with summer signing Anthony Grant and former Newcastle youngster Brad Inman - listing the pair on loan and isolating them from the rest of the squad in training labelling the pair as a "disruption." The pair were later reinstated to the squad and first team duties following an improvement in their attitudes and helped Crewe avoid relegation on the last day of the season with a 2–1 victory over local rivals Preston North End.
The 2014–15 season was no better in terms of Crewe's performance. The team lost 10 of their first 12 games, and eventually finished in 20th position - remaining in League One despite losing the final game of the season, against Bradford City, because of results in fixtures elsewhere.
The following season started in a similar pattern, with the team winning just two of their first 15 league games, and crashing out of the FA Cup in the first round, defeated at Gresty Road by non-league Eastleigh, forcing Davis to defend his position as the 'right man' for the job. Crewe's relegation to League Two was confirmed following a 3–0 defeat at Port Vale on 9 April 2016, with five games remaining.
His son, Harry, is currently playing at St Mirren on loan from Crewe Alexandra, and is also a centre-back. He made his professional debut at the end of the 2009–10 season, playing for Crewe against Bradford City.
Another son, Joe, is a defender at Fleetwood Town, having made his professional debut at Port Vale in April 2011. On 22 February 2014, for 33 minutes of a match at Port Vale, Davis's sons played on opposite sides against each other.
- As of match played 7 January 2017
|Northwich Victoria||4 June 2003||29 September 2003||11||1||3||7||9.1|||
|Crewe Alexandra||10 November 2011||8 January 2017||272||84||71||117||30.9|||
- Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2000). The 2000–2001 Official PFA Footballers Factfile. Harpenden: Queen Anne Press. p. 84. ISBN 978-1-85291-626-8.
- Oliver, Pete (16 June 2003). "Davis relishing Vics challenge". BBC Sport. Retrieved 5 March 2008.
- "Davis resigns at Northwich". BBC Sport. 29 September 2003. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
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- Hornbrook (2014), Pg. 22
- Hornbrook (2014), Pg. 23
- "Dario Gradi steps down as Crewe Alexandra manager". BBC Sport. 10 November 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
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- Hornbrook (2014), Pg. 30
- "Crewe 1–4 Colchester". BBC Sport. 12 November 2011.
- Begley, Emlyn (27 May 2012). "Cheltenham 0–2 Crewe". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
- Osborne, Chris (7 April 2013). "Crewe 2–0 Southend". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
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- "Seven Crewe Alexandra footballers held over sex attack claims". BBC Sport. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
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- Morse, Peter (23 November 2013). "Grant and Inman labelled a 'disruption'". Crewe Chronicle. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
- Crewe 0–1 Eastleigh, BBC Sport, 7 November 2015. Retrieved: 12 November 2015.
- "Steve Davis: Crewe boss insists he is 'right man' for the job". BBC Sport. 10 November 2015. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
- "Port Vale 3-0 Crewe Alexandra". BBC Sport. BBC. 9 April 2016. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
- "Club Part Company With Steve Davis" (Press release). Crewe Alexandra F.C. 8 January 2017. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
- "Crewe Alexandra: David Artell named manager after sacking of Steve Davis". BBC Sport. BBC. 8 January 2017. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
- Morse, Peter (12 May 2010). "Crewe Alex: Family ties no issue for debut boy Harry Davis". Crewe Chronicle. Retrieved 15 August 2010.
- "Port Vale: Ede believes potential is there". The Sentinel. Stoke-on-Trent. 3 November 2009. Retrieved 3 November 2009.
- "Port Vale v Crewe: Steve Davis plays down family pride". BBC Sport. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
- "Port Vale 1 Crewe Alexandra 3". BBC Sport. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Archived News and Information: 27 May to 6 June, 2003". Altrincham F.C. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
- "Results/matches: 2003/04". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
- "Results/matches: 2011/12". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
- "Managers: Steve Davis". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 8 January 2017.