David Daniel “Dai” Daves was an inside forward who joined the Tigers in August 1935 after starting his football career at Aberaman Athletic, a junior team local to his Aberdare birthplace. Signed on the recooendation of Ex-Tigers full back Jack McQuillan, who now assisted the Tigers in scouting South Wales talent while working in the local coal mining industry, the young Welshman was introduced to the City first team straight away by manager Jack Hill. However City were in the throes of a collapse in form that led to relegation at the end of the 1935/36 season and Davies was quickly placed in the reserves, he did play a handful of games at the end of the season, when Hill had been replaced by David Menzies, but City were losing practically every week and Davies was unable to impress with his attacking prowess.
Relegation to Division Three North allowed Davies to shine and over the next three seasons he was City’s regular inside left, also deputising at inside right on occasions. He opened his scoring account at the end of August 1936 in a 2-1 win over Rotherham and contributed occasional but often important goals for the rest of the season, notably the only goal in a Christmas Day win over Wrexham. Menzies was by now replaced by Ernest Blackburn and Davies’ stock rose further in the 1937/38 season when he hit nine league goals including a brace in a 10-1 thumping of Southport and another pair in an April 1938 2-1 win over Doncaster. His form developed further in the 1938/39 season when he hit 17 goals in all competitions, scoring two goals in five separate matches.
Davies was beginning to attract the attention of Wales’ international selectors when World War 2 drew football to an abrupt halt and left Davies, at his prime at 25 years of age, without a professional game. He was living close to West Park with his brother in law Ernie Bell, a fellow City professional, and continued to play for Hull City in wartime fixtures, also turning out for Aldershot and Reading while serving in the Army from December 1940 onwards.
He returned to City for the 1946/47 season and was a regular first team choice as the Tigers attempted to rebuild a squad after World War 2. He failed to make the first team in the opening weeks of the 1947/48 season and joined Scarborough Town in November 1947 before joining Midland League side Scunthorpe & Lindsey United in September 1948. After one season with The Iron he drew his career to a close with three seasons as player-coach at Barton Town, though he missed the entire 1951/52 season through injury. By now he was working for Hull’s telephone company, a job he maintained for many years, while also retaining his role as a prominent local table tennis player. He died in Hull in October 1984.
Date/Place of Birth: 5 December 1914, Aberdare
Hull City First Game: 2 September 1935, Tottenham Hotspur A (Division Two), 20 years, 271 days old
Hull City Final Game: 24 May 1947, Oldham Athletic H (Division Three North), 32 years, 170 days old
Aberaman Athletic, Hull City (1935-1948), Scarborough (1947-1948, loan), Scunthorpe United (1948-1949), Barton Town (1949-1952)
Hull City Record
Career: 152 apps, 33 goalsDai Davies