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Former Saints great Davies dies

29 May 2013 19:47:06

Former Saints great Davies dies

Southampton great Ron Davies, twice the leading scorer in the old First Division, has died on the eve of his 71st birthday, the club website announced on Wednesday.

Davies, who played 29 times for Wales, scoring nine goals, was renowned for his heading ability and famously scored four headed goals against Manchester United at Old Trafford in August 1969.

Southampton spent what was then a club record £55,000 for him, after he scored 58 goals in 113 games for second tier Norwich, as they prepared for life in the First Division in the 1966-67 season.

It proved to be a shrewd investment as he not only scored 12 goals in 10 successive games but finished top scorer in the First Division with 37 goals, although he belied his reputation as solely a great header of the ball by scoring 23 with the boot.

He also finished top scorer the following season - although this time he shared the honour with George Best - and ended his seven years there in 1973 with 134 goals in 240 appearances.

His career never knew similar heights after that despite a later move to Manchester United - who had tried unsuccessfully to sign him earlier from the Saints - where he only played eight times, all as a substitute.

He eventually moved to the United States and coached children, though only individually as he didn't like to argue with the parents over team selection.

However, he and his girlfriend Chris lived under increasingly straitened financial circumstances - at the age of 65 he was having to work on construction sites to keep afloat - and Southampton fans had to raise funds so he could undergo the first of two hip replacement operations.

According to the club website he became a recluse after Chris died in 2009, but his status at the Premier League club was summed up in the appreciation with the words 'The King is dead'.


AFP

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