David “Dai” D’Auria joined Hull City in July 1998 on a free transfer after his contract with local rivals Scunthorpe United expired. During a period of immense turmoil D’Auria was an experienced head and as near as the late 1990s City got to a consistent force in the first eleven. He was immediately introduced to the first team by manaer Mark Hateley and scored on his debut, a 3-1 defeat at Rotherham. He played every game under Hateley until the ex-England man’s sacking in mid November 1998, and as City transitioned to Warren Joyce’s management D’Auria missed three games. He returned to action just before Christmas and scored in three consecutive games, an Associate Members’ Cup win at Notts County, a Boxing Day defeat against Chester and a 3-2 defeat at Shrewsbury. D’Auria missed only two games for the rest of the season as City, marooned at the foot of the League Division 3 table at Christmas, hauled themselves to safety in the Great Escape under the inspirational leadership of Warren Joyce. D’Auria scored the only goal in a vital late-March win at Southend that did much to seal City’s survival in the Football League.
D’Auria missed four games at the start of 1999/00 after starting the first fixture at Exeter, and for the next three months he was in and out of the first eleven. Signed on a free transfer in the Hateley era, D’Auria was reputed to be on of City’s highest earners and in November 1999 the club accepted a £50,000 from Chesterfield for Dai’s signature, bringing to an end a brief but momentous and mostly effective spell with the Tigers.
David D’Auria was born in the Landore area of Swansea, as a teenager he played alongsie future Welsh international defender and manager Chris Coleman for North End Juniors. He signed professional terms with his local league side in August 1988 after spending two years with the Swans as a YTS trainee. David had already made his first team debut in August 1987 and in four seasons made 57 first team appearances and scored six goals as he supported the first team as occasional replacement and game day substitute. The highlights of his time at Vetch Field was playing in a 1989/90 European Cup Winners’ Cup tie against Greek giants Panathinaikos in front of 60,000 fans at the Olympic Staidum in Athens. However by 1991 Swansea were not inclined to renew his contract and D’Auria joined Conference side Merthyr Tydfil. After two years at Penydarren Park David joined Barry Town in 1993, and by the end of his first season the Linnets, who were newly returned to the Welsh football pyramid after a spell competing in the English non-league pyramid and playing in Worcester, won the Welsh League Division One title and lifted the Welsh Cup – Dai scored a goal in the final against Cardiff City. This promotion kickstarted a period of unprecedented success at Jenner Park, but D’Auria had impressed visiting scouts and in August 1994 he left Barry for League Division 3 side Scarborough. Midway through his second season at Seamer Road Dai was transferred to Scunthorpe United in return for a £40,000 fee, in three seasons he made 125 appearances for The Iron and scored 19 goals.
D’Auria suffered injuries after joining Chesterfield in November 1999 which meant he made only 33 appearances in two and a half seasons. He returned to his Welsh roots in 2002 and spent a season with Llanelli. D’Auria had trained as a plumber while playing for Hull City and Chesterfield. When he returned to his Welsh roots in 2002 he began a second career working as a gas fitter in the Swansea area. He kept playing non-league football for a few years, spending 2002/03 season with Llanelli and 2003/04 season at Skewen Athletic. Between 2005 and 2008 he was player and assistant manager at Neath FC, a club formed from the merger of Skewen and local rivals Neath. When D’Auria stopped playing he joined the coaching staff at Neath FC, at a time when the club invested heavily in former Football League players and qualified for the 2011/12 Europa League. However financial collapse meant the club was wound up in 2012. He was not associated with a club for several years until in 2017 he took over the manager’s role at Swansea-based Welsh League Division Two side Garden Village FC.
D’Auria was capped once for the Wales Under-16 side, a February 1987 tie against Scotland played in Dundee.
Date/Place of Birth: 16 March 1970, Swansea
Hull City First Game: 8 August 1998, Rotherham United A (League Division 3), 28 years, 145 days old
Hull City Final Game: 20 November 1999, Hayes A (FA Cup Second Round), 29 years, 249 days old
Swansea City (1988-1991), Merthyr Tydfil (1991-1993), Barry Town (1993-1994), Scarborough (1994-1995), Scunthorpe United (1995-1998), Hull City (1998-1999), Chesterfield (1999-2002), Llanelli (2002-2003), Skewen (2003-2004), Neath (2005-2008)
Hull City Record
Career: 68 apps, 5 goalsDavid D'Auria
|1998/99||42 (0)||4||2 (0)||0||4 (0)||0||-||-||2 (0)||1|
|1999/00||10 (2)||0||3 (0)||0||1 (2)||0||-||-||-||-|