Bolton Wanderers legend and former England international Super Kevin Davies has been honoured with the Football League's prestigious Sir Tom Finney Award, which is given to a recently retired player that had an outstanding career in the Football League.
The former Wanderers captain, who scored 84 goals in 407 games in all competitions for the club, was recognised for his services to football at the Football League Awards last night.
Davies enjoyed a fantastic career that spanned some 22 years. Having made his debut for Chesterfield back in 1993, Davies first made his presence known in Chesterfield's run to the FA Cup semi-finals in 1997, which included a hat-trick at Burnden Park against Bolton - in one fell swoop matching his league tally of three goals in 34 matches that season.
The promise shown at Chesterfield earned him a £750,000 move to Premier League side Southampton, where he scored nine goals in an impressive debut season. And tweve months later he was on the move again, for ten times the transfer fee, as Blackburn Rovers splurged £7.5 million on the 21-year-old.
However, the transfer fee clearly affected Davies as he scored just one league goal for Blackburn before returning to Southampton a year later - in exchange for that prolific forward Egil Ostenstad. But a return to familiar surroundings failed to ignite a resurgence of form, and Davies struggled during a four-year spell on the south coast, making 95 appearances and scoring 13 goals.
Enter Big Sam Allardyce to resurrect Davies' career. Davies signed for Bolton in the summer of 2003, started every game of the 2003/4 campaign, won the club's Player of the Season and scored in the final of the League Cup final against Middlesbrough. He was already earning himself the honour of being a fans' favourite but his form over the next few seasons consolidated his position as a club legend.
He scored that goal at the Allianz Arena to help Bolton towards an epic 2-2 draw with Bayern Munich in 2007, and became club captain in January 2009 - scoring twice in his first game with the armband to inspire a 3-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur.
He broke the record for most fouls in a season in both 2009/10 and 2010/11, and holds the record for committing the most fouls in the Premier League. Ever. What a legend.
To top it all off, in October 2010 Davies became the oldest outfield player to make their England debut since 1950 when, at the age of 33, he came on as a substitute against Montenegro. And got booked. What a legend.
After leaving Bolton he had a couple of seasons with Tom Finney's Preston North End, where he scored six goals in 90 appearances. That took his career tally for all clubs to 150 goals in 818 appearances in all competitions.
Speaking on receiving the award, Davies said: "It is a huge honour to accept the Sir Tom Finney Award. I would like to thank The Football League for the accolade and also all the clubs that I had the pleasure of playing for. After making my debut for Chesterfield at the age of 16 I would never have believed that I would go on playing for the next 22 years.
"To win the Sir Tom Finney Award is particularly special for me. He was a true legend and fantastic ambassador of the game. To be associated to such a special player gives me an enormous sense of pride particularly as my last professional game was for Preston North End gaining promotion at Wembley."
Congratulations to Kevin Davies from all of us here at Lion of Vienna Suite.