Billy Davies was swiftly appointed manager in October 1999 after Harri Kampman vacated the hot seat after a poor spell in charge. This appointment took everyone by surprise as the fans were just getting over the exit of the Finn before Chief Executive Pat Nevin had given the managerial reigns to rookie Davies. Nevin had stated that he had been massively impressed by his performance as a youth coach and had faith in his ability to lead the club forward. In his playing days Billy had been a midfielder with Rangers, Elfsborg, St Mirren, Leicester and Dunfermline. He finished his playing days with the Steelmen where he played over 100 games. At the start of the 1999/00 season he was offered the chance to continue playing football with Greenock Morton but declined that opportunity.
His managerial debut wouldn’t have cause for excitement for the ‘Well faithful as St Johnstone would hammer the side 5-0 at McDiarmid Park, immediately raising questions about his appointment. Chairman John Boyle would dip into his own pocket as he hoped to establish a side capable of making the club Scotland’s 3rd force. Davies firstly acquired his brother-in-law from Everton, striker John Spencer, he was swiftly followed by Manchester City midfielder Ged Brannan who cost a hefty fee to prize him from Maine Road. These additions paid immediate dividends as the side would stun Rangers by beating them 1-0 at Fir Park when the new players made their debuts.
It would be fair to say he bedded into the role just fine as further quality signings arrived in the shape of Andy Goram and Don Goodman, the fear of relegation was quickly alleviated. Despite having plenty dosh at his disposal he did like to bargain hunt and over the course he added players from the lower Scottish leagues such as his brother John, Derek Townsley and Paul Harvey.
His first full campaign in charge in 1999/00 was Billy’s most successful as the side almost snatched a Uefa Cup spot sadly just missing out on the last day of the season as Hearts clinched it, even more galling in that the Steelmen had brushed aside Rangers 2-0 at Fir Park on the final day of the campaign.
Davies offered his resignation on the 18th September 2001 after 3 years in charge, the side had went 7 games without winning and a 3-0 defeat against Rangers put paid to his employment with Motherwell Football Club. He had many highlights in charge mainly beating Celtic on numerous occasions in the 1999/00 season, seeing off Rangers twice at Fir Park during his tenure. In the Scottish Cup beating Hearts 3-1 at home was a favourite match for many fans under the Davies era. Lowlights included a 6-5 loss to Aberdeen at home, a 7-1 defeat at the hands of Celtic and on his debut a 5-0 defeat versus St Johnstone. He had failed to live up to his impressive start to management, but in his latter period with the club the side he built was being spilt apart as the club were in obvious financial trouble.
Later in his career, Billy would later be an assistant manager to former Scotland manager Craig Brown at Preston North End before taking up the mantel himself. He had great success at Derby County leading them to a shock promotion to the English Premier League via the playoffs where one Stephen Pearson had clinched the winner but sadly the side would struggle massively in the Premiership and he would be fired from Pride Park. A number of years later he took up the mangers role at rivals Nottingham Forest where he would have two spells in charge.
|William McIntosh Davies
|Date of Birth:
|31st May 1964
|Place of Birth:
|Preston North End