Over the last ten years, Kevin Davies has provided some absolutely incredible memories for Bolton Wanderers fans. Perhaps that is why today's news that the club will not be offering the captain a new contract felt like a punch in the stomach to so many fans. Davies does not have the same legs that he did just a few years ago but that doesn't mean that he would not be able to provide important contributions to Bolton Wanderers over the next year and beyond. That said, his eventual release had to happen.
If you try to think of your favorite Kevin Davies moment, you would likely find it difficult to pick out just one. Equalizing against Bayern Munich, beating West Ham with a dislocated finger, getting Chungy the ball to beat Birmingham, the England call-up, and so on. Kevin Davies provided so many of Bolton's most important memories over the past decade and that makes saying goodbye very difficult.
Perhaps it was the fact that Kevin Davies was the last remaining member of that Bolton Wanderers team. The team that represented the Trotters' golden age. Jussi Jaaskelainen, Ricardo Gardner, Fernando Hierro, Jay Jay Okocha, El-Hadji Diouf, Ivan Campo, Gary Speed, etc, had all gone in their own directions over the last seven or eight years but Kevin Davies hung around. His departure will well and truly be the end of that incredible era.
He wasn't banging in goals or providing assists like he used to on a regular basis and with three young, hungry strikers on the bench, it was always going to be difficult to get the captain consistent games. For that reason, Bolton Wanderers made the correct decision by letting him go. Yet, while the decision was, for all intents and purposes, the right one, that doesn't make it any easier for fans to accept.
The club came out with a concise statement earlier, reaffirming Super Kevin Davies' legendary status and there is absolutely no doubting the man's commitment to the club, the town of Bolton, and the fans.
Many had hoped that Davies would see how his career with the club that he became synonymous with, taking on a coaching role and helping breed the next generation of legendary Bolton striker. While that remains a possibility in the future (like it did with Phil Brown), questions remain about whether it's something the captain would even want to do.
Bolton Wanderers took an absolute battering in the press but the club has done nothing wrong. The talksport interview that SKD conducted seemed to focus on two things: that (per club rules, mind) he was not being handed a testimonial and that it was his birthday. Neither one has any bearing on the actual facts of the matter. For one, per a number of reports, all that Kevin Davies has to do for a testimonial is ask (like John McGinlay did after five years). Second, Davies wants to play consistent minutes and that's not something that Bolton Wanderers were able to promise. As much as it hurts for him, would SKD rather sit the final year or two of his career on the bench or would he want to play? I'd bet the latter.
Players come and go, but, more than anything, Bolton Wanderers fans should be thankful for the nearly ten years of passionate service that Kevin Davies provided the club.
Footballers fade. It's a fact of the game that comes with age. Class, though, is permanent. Fans will always have the myriad of memories that Kevin Davies created. After all, who put the ball in the Munich net?
Super Kevin Davies.