19 October 2006

Tom Davis

A prolific goalscorer and dual international, Tom Davis' return of five goals in five international games for both Irelands remains an impressive statistic...

Name: Thomas Lawrence Davis
Born: 3 February 1911, Dublin
Died: 1987
Height:
Weight:

Position: Centre-Forward

Representative Honours: Ireland: 1 Full Cap/1 Goal (1936); Eire: 4 Full Caps/4 Goals (1936-1938).
Club Honours: (with Tranmere) Football League Division Three (North) Champion 1937/38.

Club Career:

Teams
Seasons
Signed
Fee
League
FA Cup
Other
Frankfort
-
-
-
(ex-League of Ireland)
Beaumont
-
-
-
-
-
-
Midland Athletic
-
-
-
(ex-League of Ireland)
Shelbourne
29/30
-
-
/  7
/1
-
Cork
30/31
-
-
/  7
-
-
Exeter City
31/32
-
Trial
0/  0
-
-
Boston Town
-
-
-
(Midland League)
Torquay United
32/33
-
-
4/  1
-
-
New Brighton
33/34-34/35
-
-
77/ 50
7/0
1/0
FC de Metz
-
-
-
(France)
Oldham Athletic
35/36-37/38
-
-
72/ 51
7/4
2/3
Tranmere Rovers
37/38
-
-
10/  6
-
1/1
Cork City
38/39
-
-
/ 15
/1
-
Dundalk
38/39
-
-
/  3
-
-
Workington
-
-
-
(North Eastern League)
Drumcondra
39/40
-
-
/ 10
-
-
Shelbourne
40/41
-
-
/  1
-
-
Distillery
41/42
-
-
*/ 24
-
-
TOTALS
-
£-
/175
/6
4/4
* all ganes.

Biography:
Tommy Davis was a controversial yet brilliant footballer. His formative years were spent with a number of clubs in the lower echelons of the Irish Free State’s footballing structure, before breaking into the League of Ireland proper with Shelbourne and then Cork. His goalscoring form brought Davis a trial with Exeter City early in the 1931/32, but it was with non-League Boston Town that he enjoyed a first settled spell in English football.

Davis finally arrived in the Football League with Torquay United, but it was a move to New Brighton in Division Three (North) that brought him to the attention of the wider world. Signed by French topflight side Metz in 1935, he failed to settle, and broke his contract to return to England with Oldham. After serving a three month ban for his contract infringement he returned to his goalscoring ways. His return of 35 goals during the 1936/37 season is still a record for an Oldham player, and included four hattricks and a seven game (five League and two FA Cup) scoring run.

The selectors back in Ireland were clearly taking notice too, and the Irish Free State awarded Davis his first Full cap on 17th October 1936 – he marked the occasion with two goals in a 5-2 defeat of Germany at Dalymount Park. A month later the IFA got in on the act, selecting the Dublin-born forward for the Home Nations match against England as stand-in for Davy ‘Boy’ Martin. Again he found the net but ended on the losing side, the English winning 3-1 in Stoke. Davis finished 1936 with another Free State Cap, scoring in a 3-2 defeat by Hungary in December.

Mid-way through the 1937/38 season Davis signed for Tranmere Rovers, and his return of six goals in ten matches helped push the club to the Division Three (North) title, and promotion to Division Two for the first time in the club’s history. May 1938 saw the newly renamed “Eire” team travel to Eastern Europe on an end-of-season tour. Davis led the attacking line in both matches, against Czechoslovakia – he scored in a 2-2 draw – and Poland – a match that ended in a 6-0 defeat, and was consequently the only international match in which Davis didn’t find the net.

With War-clouds looming in England, Davis returned to the League of Ireland in 1938. He did briefly return to England where he made a handful of appearances for non-League Workington. A brief War-Time spell with Distillery, where he netted 24 goals in a single season, seems to have been his swansong in senior football.

Ireland Cap Details:

18-11-1936 England. H L 1-3 BC 1 Goal

Summary: 1/1. Won 0, Drew 0, Lost 1.

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