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Eddie Davies: The Man Who Gave Bolton Wanderers Fans Everything

What a life

Blackburn Rovers v Bolton Wanderers Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Just when you thought events of the last 48hr in the world of Bolton Wanderers couldn’t get any more insane, an embargo was broken and news emerged that 72 year old Eddie Davies, former Chairman of the club, had passed away whilst in Portugal with his wife.

Firstly, what an absolute sickener to hear. Everything about the club has been so negative ever since the threat of administration was made public. This only compounds that feeling tonight, at least for me. For the man to pass away without knowing whether his beloved club was safe from administration is truly heartbreaking.

Born in Little Lever, Davies lived all out the boyhood dreams of many a supporter by ploughing a huge wedge of his immense wealth into the club he loved so much after joining the board in 1999. He became majority shareholder in 2003.

His tenure as owner of the club coincided with what could easily be described as the most successful in the club’s history.

With the appointments of Phil Gartside and Sam Allardyce to the party he funded an expansion that was unprecedented in the club’s history. It is highly unlikely that we will see such wondrous times again.

Speaking as a supporter, I could never begin to describe accurately the sheer pleasure I derived from that era. Indeed since it passed absolutely nothing has ever come close to touching it.

Eddie, on behalf of all fans, we are so so grateful for the love and belief you poured into the club and I know that everyone looks back on those times with great fondness.

Even those who weren’t alive to see it must surely hear that decade spoken of with such great reverence that the most wonderful eulogy of all can only be that which makes those who were not present pine to have even the slightest inkling of what it meant.

We saw such wonderful footballers pass through our corridors. We saw some wonderful games against the very best the footballing world has to offer and we more than held our own. Little old Bolton Wanderers. Not so little then.

I can only express my heartfelt gratitude to the man for allowing so many more people to share in the chance that our club could be more than it ever dreamed to be.

There is to be no talk of recriminations for how things ended. There should be only a further measure of appreciation for what the man did and how his love for Bolton Wanderers allowed us all to go further than we ever thought possible.

Even when he took a step back he couldn’t quite break free. Unwilling to let his beloved club drop even further down the leagues he was there for when he was needed. Indeed current chairman Ken Anderson has often thanked Davies for his assistance in helping the club remain afloat be it by advice or by dipping back into his pockets to help out.

I doubt we’ll ever see the like again. What a life.

Thank you.

Eddie Davies, 1946-2018