Bolton Legend Reaches 800 Career Appearances

  • January 18, 2015 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton legend and former captain Kevin Davies made his 800th career club appearance on Friday, as Preston North End drew 2-2 with Leyton Orient.

Davies, who was released by his boyhood club Sheffield United at the age of 15, made his professional debut in September 1993, aged 16, by appearing for Chesterfield in a League Cup tie against West Ham United.

He went on to score 30 goals in 159 appearances for the Spireites, during which time he made history by becoming the final man to score a hat-trick at Burnden Park. Although he would later go on to write history as a Wanderers player, Davies' treble came in a 3-2 victory for Chesterfield in an FA Cup tie in February 1997.

His form in their route to the semi-finals of the competition didn't go unnoticed and Davies joined Southampton in a £750,000 transfer in May 1997.

Davies' stay at The Dell was short-lived, after a solitary season that brought 12 goals in 30 games saw him win a £7.5million move to Blackburn Rovers - where a record of two goals in 30 outings saw him return to the Saints for just £1.2million a year later.

A second stint at Southampton didn't prove to be as successful as the first. A four-year spell yielded just 13 goals in 95 games and, after a brief spell on loan at Millwall, Davies was released in the summer of 2003.

After a successful trial with Bolton, Davies joined the club later that summer and went on to make a total of 407 appearances for the Trotters, for whom he netted 84 goals over a 10-year period. He captained the club from January 2009 until his departure, in June 2013, and won his one and only England cap in a Euro 2012 qualifying match against Montenegro in October 2010.

Following Davies' departure from the Reebok Stadium, he moved across Lancashire by signing for Preston. To date, he has played 70 times for the Lilywhites and scored just five goals.

He stepped off the substitutes' bench on Friday night to make the 800th club appearance of a 22-year playing career, which could come to an end when his contract at Deepdale expires at the end of the season.

Should these next few months prove to be the final stages of his career, Davies will get the opportunity for one last hoorah when he steps out for his Bolton testimonial at Macron Stadium on either July 31 or August 1, 2015, an honour earned by completing a decade of service to the club that arguably saved his career 12 years ago.

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