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Steve Davis (footballer, born 1965)

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Steve Davis
Davis, Steve.jpg
Davis in 2012
Personal information
Full name Steven Peter Davis[1]
Date of birth (1965-07-26) 26 July 1965 (age 54)[1]
Place of birth Birmingham, England
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)[1]
Playing position Defender
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1982–1983 Stoke City 0 (0)
1983–1987 Crewe Alexandra 145 (1)
1987–1991 Burnley 147 (11)
1991–1998 Barnsley 107 (10)
1997York City (loan) 2 (1)
1998Oxford United (loan) 7 (1)
1998–2000 Oxford United 35 (2)
2000 Macclesfield Town 0 (0)
2000–2002 Northwich Victoria 21 (0)
2004–2009 Nantwich Town
Total 464 (26)
National team
England youth
Teams managed
2003 Northwich Victoria
2004–2009 Nantwich Town
2011–2017 Crewe Alexandra
2017 Leyton Orient
2019- Wolves Under-18s
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Steven Peter Davis (born 26 July 1965) is an English former professional footballer who played as a defender. After managing Cheshire-based non-league teams Northwich Victoria and Nantwich Town, he was manager of Crewe Alexandra (from November 2011 to January 2017, at which date he was the fourth longest serving manager in the top four divisions of English football) and then head coach at National League club Leyton Orient for just over four months up to 14 November 2017.

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My name is Justin Honer, and I'm going to be interviewing on behalf of Penn State Lehigh Valley. Today's Tuesday October 18th, and we're located at Penn State Lehigh Valley. Now what's your name? My name is Tom Roney. When were you born Tom? I was born 1947 November 6th, 1947. Where were you born? In Buffalo, New York. Who are your parents? My dad's name was Dale Roney, and he was actually a manufacturing engineer working at Westinghouse. And my mom's name is Kay, and she worked for the post office for a while, and then was an accountant with a small firm just outside of Buffalo. What how did their occupations kind of affect your idea of the military growing up? Did that have any say on anything or change your opinion on anything? No not really. My dad he would have been eligible for World War two, but he was working on a project that ultimately involved with jet engines, and which that came out at the very end of world war two, and so they wouldn't take him. His eyes were bad as well, but he didn't care about that; but he was working on this project and they said you need to stay on this project. So, I never really had any exposure from him in that regard, so I didn't really think much about the military growing up. Did you have any siblings growing up? Yeah I had an older sister two years older, a sister two years younger, and my brother was five years younger. Did any of them serve in the military? No, nope. What were you doing before you entered the service? Immediately before? ((laughs)) Leading up to that, yeah? Leading up to that, from high school I went right off to college and had a student deferment from the draft. I registered for the draft when I was 18 and actually turned 18 when I was in college. Registered for the draft the way everybody was supposed to, and then I spent a year and a half in college. I had a great time, met some great people. I made good friends that I still have today. I didn't study a whole lot, and so after three semesters, the Dean said "maybe you should rethink that maybe college isn't right for you." So I was out for one year working basically odd jobs for a year, and that was long enough for the selective service to say we think you should serve sometime in the military. At the time when you're drafted, how did you, how did you feel about that, when you when you first heard the news? Umm a combination of anger and panic. The anger was, I think the day before i got my draft notice, I also got my paperwork to go back to college again, they accepted me back in, because it was January. And they said "hey you can come back," which was great. And like the next day I got my draft notice, so l wasn't real happy about that. And also, I was not anxious to serve. Ya know, if I was, then I would have signed up. Did you end up, you know, kind of being happy to do it after you were done with your training? Or did that idea of or notion kind of change at all during your time in training or anything like that? It did from the perspective of, if I'm going to be in this, I better do it right. Particularly once I realized that I was headed for the infantry, and most likely going to Vietnam. I better get this figured out, because I don't want to be over there saying, "what should I do now?" How do I stay alive?" That was my purpose. Looking at it now, how do you, how do you feel about it now, the experience? You know it's funny because I talked to my daughter's about this, and just talk a lot of people from time to time, and it was an experience that it changed my life, no doubt. But as much as I'd like everybody to have that life-changing experience, I wouldn't want them to go through it the way I did.Ya know, I wish there was some other way that I could share that information, and say, "hey go do this" You know, and join the Peace Corps, Vista, whatever, I don't know; but it changed my life. Unfortunately, I wouldn't wish it on anybody else at the end of the day. Looking back, do you think there's any chance you might have enlisted anyways, maybe after you were done with college or anything like that? Probably not. Some people yes. I served with guys who, they were there because its wartime, this is really what they want to do. And there are others said "If I had a choice i'd be somewhere else right now." And I guess in a sense, the irony is that living in Buffalo, I literally could have walked into Canada from where I was living. I'm not gonna walk across the Peace Bridge into Fort Erie-Ontario and just say goodbye and never come back. And I had some friends that did that so it was an option, but not one I ever seriously considered. Which branch did you end up serving in? I was in the Army. Got drafted. Almost all draftees ended up in the Army. Did you have any say whatsoever, could you choose a different branch, or were they just did they just, ya know? No, you're going the army. Although the day that I actually left to go, there was a number, I want to say they must have been about 20-25 of us, all going at the same time. And before we left we were waiting in the Federal Building, in Buffalo and a guy from the Marines came in, and took like the first eight to ten guys in line and said, "you're now in the Marine Corps." and it was like, holy cow, I'm glad that wasn't me! And they got drafted in the Marine Corps, so. I can understand that sentiment. Yeah like this is not what I was asking for! Yeah pretty happy to escape that huh? Yeah The army seemed like the better alternative. At that point how was basic training for you, army basic training? Did you have any specific memories, or that kind of stayed with you since that time? I was at Fort Dix, New Jersey, and the first I think five or six days, it was I think they called the reception station. That's where you came in, get your haircut, got got uniforms, got shots, got all that stuff taken care of. What I remember is we had to take a fairly lengthy written examination, Armed Forces qualifying, and everybody took the same one. And I remember, a couple days after that I got called out with about three or four other guys, I got called out of formation in the morning, it's like uh oh what did I do, because you never want to hear your name called specifically. "Hey soldier," or "hey private," is ok, but them calling you by name, uh oh now what's up? And so they had us go to this quancid hut kind of office place and sit out in the front lobby. And then one at a time they called us into this office, and there was two officers in there, and they said, "based on the results of this exam, you qualify for Officer Candidate School. Let us tell you why it would be a great idea.." and so on and so forth. And so I'm kind of flattered and thinking about it and I said, okay so how long does that take? When you get drafted it's 24 months, you're in and out in two years. Anything else, any enlistments at least three, and sometimes more, and so I said, "well you know, how long does this take?" And I think it was something like three years after you finish the training and got commissioned. I said well, i'm only in for two years now, if I can do it in two, i'll sign up right now. He said "no, it's got to be 3." I said well then I really don't want to spend any more time than I have to. So I passed on that one, he said, "alright, grab a seat." A couple minutes later, I got called into a different office, and there's a guy there and he was a helicopter pilot. He said, "you're qualified for helicopter flight school!" I said this is crazy, you don't even know how I drive a car! You're gonna give me like it's five million now Alec on, but I was I just turned 20 years old and they're gonna be flying elegon you know really now it's this great deal I said that sounds kind of interesting actually how long does that take you know can I do it in two years or less now that was another one that was like three years that training was pretty extensive obviously and it's like three or four years after that I just don't want to I want to get in and out as quickly as I can okay thanks and go have a seat and then we were marched out the back door back to where we started you know and off we went so I mean it's very basic training and that was the thing that stuck out with some could have gone to OCS move could have gone to flight school and flown helicopters, but I chose time rather than and duration and and none in the job do you remember any of your instructors who they were they're actually do remember the first sergeant a great big guy and his name was Wroth I still remember and what struck me about him at it towards the end of probably within the last week or ten days of basic training people started getting assignments for where they're going next some of the guys already knew because they didn't listed so I'm going to radio school at Fort Monmouth and i'm going to this one that was the rest of us we got drafted we had no idea so we're waiting for a name to be called and it seemed like every night for about four or five nights in her own when they turn us loose at night it from formation and he'd call out for five names and he'd say okay gentlemen I want you to do a really good job when you go to Fort Polk Louisiana because when I get the Vietnam you're probably going to be guarding me and I want you to take good care of me it's like we'll wait a minute oh well we know where we're going now and then 45 guys would kinda trade you up there and get their orders in the next night another 45 and so on that's why I remember because he kept saying you know well i'll see you in Vietnam I hope not not the birds little bit that I never see again I'll be okay that's about fair ((laughs)) Did they ever treat you any differently, because you're a drafty or the other assorted a treat you just the same as? Pretty much the same little nuances you if you got drafted your military ID number started with the letters U.S. and if you enlisted it started with RA which was regular army and so you know you have every once in awhile USRA and you have to tell them which one you were generally they didn't I mean you know pretty much all the same. What was your job and did you receive the full training or supposed together did they give you an abbreviated version? Well they claimed it was the full one, I went to Fort Polk Louisiana not exactly an exotic capital of the world to go visit and it was from an infantry training advanced infantry training and in specifically I was trained on mortars which are kind of fun actually a lot more fun than trudging around carrying a rifle but we're trained on both, but I trained mortars yeah I am when I was done i could do it I could do the job the way I needed to and so I felt pretty good about that. How did you adapt to the military lifestyle you know PT for them you know, exercising things like that barracks life ,the wonderful child haul ((laughter)) Freight on these most delicious food only that and like you know kind of social life and inside the military energy to adapt visitors? The PT was okay, I played most sports so that was ok everybody probably had a step up a bit you know, because it was pretty rigorous that was ok I'll do remember though the first time we took a PT test and there was four or five different components to it one of which was it was a mile run and when everything was done they posted scores and they posted my score and I thought what the heck I was like way at the bottom of the list and that isn't right there's something wrong here and so I said he went to the our platoon sergeant said something wrong I know it better than this now i'm sorry and I find out that they never posted my score from the mile run so I only got credit for four instead of five that's why I was at the bottom towards the bottom of the list they said this wait a minute well next time you can make it up the next time I you know got up to where he needed to be so that was one of those should have done okay barracks life we were basic training we were 82 a room and still not bumped just single beds 82 a room got to know those guys pretty well and then for poke that was that was just pushing through pushing through question through that was in a plant of my April and May nineteen sixty eight and ten of 1968 was the big ten offensive lots of people were getting hurt us and both sides actually and so they just they need a lot of replacements so that's what we were there for get trained as quick as you can I think from the day I went into the army today landed in Vietnam was just about five months to the day so total training time. The men telleo for the idea of serving combat in combat had that mentality change you know as you as you are going through training and you you're getting sent there and then you got there and then as you got home? That's interesting and thought about that I guess, but initially basic training you have no idea you know he's just doing the PT and do whatever you're told to do when you get orders in my case went to Fort Polk pretty good chance I'm gonna end up in Vietnam in the infantry then the reality starts setting in like oh we're going to get into here and how do I get out of it if I could anyway to get out of this whole thing and if I can I better pay attention there was some guys develop this great technique and the army training movies that they ran at the time and always open up with this really hokey music and then you have your movie about you know whatever it was and then we'll close with the really hokey music at the end well guys figured out something that's really good at this soon as the music died at the front they falsely I wanna hear music coming they wake back up again and so they got a little nap there in the middle of their now whatever was there supposed to learn my alright by a stop I'm glad you know they weren't serving with me yeah, but yeah and getting out of Fort Polk than before we left there you get your ordinary next assignment and that's when we got you know show up in Oakland army terminal California for reassignment the Republic of Vietnam and you knew where you were going at that point then the reality was like okay now what do I do know i'm going to be home for two weeks or 28 weeks now what are you doing those two and a half weeks and should I be thinking about you have you should be thinking about what if I don't come home I mean it kind of grim, but that's the reality and CJ to think about it, but you really did need to somewhere along the line so he just in case you know can you take care of my pan stir her or or worse you know. Did they have you sign a will or anything doing that kind of legal paperwork before you left out as part of their? No they didn't we did we could sign up for life insurance they offer life insurance that we don't think it was mandatory, but I mean I signed up for anyway you know. So did that did any of you change it or your idea of war or your attitude towards it that didn't change at all after coming. back? The idea what it was, before I went all over there I mean I grew up in the 50s and we were doing nuclear bomb drills in grade school they'll hide under your desk all the time seemed like the right idea it go today why bother no it's and so you had we had that plus we had you know just images from World War I World War II in Korea became right on the heels of each other and so that was my impression of you know what was going to be like and then when you actually get to Vietnam it's just very very different no you you don't get off the airplane and run for cover and it's you landed an airport it's like this is pretty hot over here but so far so good you know nobody shot at me like nobody there to shoot at you because you're in a city and you know off you're going to put you on a bus and I take you to a army base and another one and eventually you get out to where you realize okay this is where the wars going on and better start really paying attention now. What was your primary duty station that you actually assigned to or did you have one besides Vietnam or were you assigned to be station then from there center? No, we went we went to Vietnam first just unassigned and then once I got there they assigned me to a specific unit I ended up at the 82nd airborne division which is really funny because I never jumped out of an airplane in my life and I was like wait wait wait you know there is a couple of us that were there and they said you know you go in the 82nd everyone wait where we don't we don't have wings and say we jump that's not us we why we're doing this no no what basically was we need people who have infantry we need infantry soldiers the man who jumped out we just need infantry soldiers and so off we went. Know you go anywhere else besides Vietnam did you get any neighboring countries or anything like that sure you know any other offenses are interested? No my overseas that was it for my overseas was in country it was in hospital for a while I shouldn't say that I was in hospital for a while I did end up in Japan, but that was in the hospital and then back to Vietnam again. So what are some of your strongest memories from when you're deployed ,some of the things? Well I so the first one was its gonna be like when we get off the plane literally when I walk down the steps no idea and that got result pretty quickly and then you realize all right another 364 days and I go home I think getting into out in actually assigned to a unit you know it's the hierarchy in the military so I went from the division to the brigade and you know down to the battalion down to the company level down to the platoon level down to the squad level that was our smallest operating unit and you know here's the seven or eight guys are going to spend hopefully spend the next year with forget the norm yeah so that was that was another one and beyond that it was just trying to figure out I mean you're the new guy and these guys been together for a while the group they did the 82nd airborne the 3rd Brigade that went to Vietnam they went in February and this was in July by the time I caught up to him first of July they already been there for a while as a group operating and your little bit awkward as the new guy trying to fit in and figure out and you know initially you're trying not to get anybody else hurt and eventually you start figuring things out and say okay now I know I can really contribute I think that was the that was probably the big ones and then just trying to figure out what's our mission here now I knew what mine was with state life that's all I want to do you know if they told me, hey going to sign with these guys and you're gonna walk around in the jungle for the next 364 days they don't run into anybody other than my own guys I'll do it sign me up I just want to stay alive and all was it I didn't have any grand vision of winning a war never happen I just wanted to stay alive make sure the guys around me stay alive let's all go home together and be happy not very patriotic necessarily, but reality. What sort of relationship did you end up building with some of those fellow servicemen those guys that you served with that came a little late? Yeah eventually I mean you know you realize that if you're doing the best you can do in your share it's not a problem at the time we were like best friends, but since I got home I think i've only seen him in it's been almost 50 years and I haven't seen in the other guys okay we went our own way when we got back, but like I said at the time we were you know when you count on the guys any other side to keep you alive and they're counting on you to keep them alive you get pretty tight pretty fast. Did you have anyone in particular that you're very close with during that time I used to still keep in contact with the day? No lost contact he and I went to basic training together AIT together ended up in in it been the same unit and eventually I will not lie said I went to the hospital for a while when I came back we eventually ended up in the same unit again can be both gone through training and mortars we're supposed to be a mortar platoon and so we ended up at the very end, but that was it we took off went home and took off MCM since. Did you ever end up experiencing any combat where to put your end up me besides with your troops? Yeah we did we ran into the other guys a few times while we were there till I'm sure they're I know there are guys that I've talked to and that and we're much more in contact had much more contact with the enemy that we ever did ours was sporadic we it seemed like we spent more time looking for them than we did actually finding him once again that was ok with me you know even when you're out there by yourself there's nobody around you still have that constant worry, but terms of I might have been four, five, six times maybe and you know in six months that first six months through there. Is there any particular firefight so you have a little too strong memory you know? There is one situation in particular and it didn't last very long, but one of our guys got killed and as it turns out in the order of march for that day I was at our squad was the very end of the line we're kind of rearguard more or less so we went up that way call us forward, because they're all engaged to get this guy and get that body out of there that was I that that was that was not fun and you know the obvious that he was dead and just kind of creepy had to be done not gonna leave anybody behind, but you know carrying him out of there was those that one sticks. How did you internalize the casualties and destruction of us around the time? I don't know you kind of as much as you feel concerned, because it's someone who served with and you know there's part of it says thank God it wasn't me it's very selfish, but I mean that's reality that's the way it wasn't me and then you start after the fact when the adrenaline calms down a little bit and a known and you would have an opportunity to stop thinking about it and you start thinking about you wonder you know I know he's got a family and we just got married and you know how those people going to feel and what would it be like if it happened to me you know that that's literally. Did you end up pushing a lot of that away until later on or did you end up kind of moving through that the timer? I think everybody did both some did a better job of dealing with it at the moment you know I mean relatively speaking and then others you know that kind of saved it up and that I mean that was when PTSD became common if URL or at least accepted and acknowledged the guys that did save it up and just couldn't get rid of it and it didn't go away and the guys Dino guys today that are now still have nightmares that I just met a guy not long ago he was in the marines and he was in a graves registration unit and they basically their job was after the firefights they send them out helicopter and they would take the bodies and new identification and bring them back to a mortuary and you know he said he'd effort his whole time he was over there and I'm thinking I there's no way I could have done that could not have done there and he said and he said I had a good night's sleep in 46 years that's pretty know that stuff that's really tough. How did you manage that the strain of everything? A-lot of guys got a most everybody there would the day you got there i'll use the army specifically it was 12 months 365 days, because the time change and crossing the daylight when you got there I think you're in your 360 third day when you got there and that's pretty much what kept people moving forward they count the number of days left I mean I don't know a guy that I ran across in Vietnam you couldn't tell you exactly a hundred twenty-seven days and i'm home and short time has come short-timers on you and you have these kind of momentous days okay I'm down to two 9922 hundreds hey all right now and then you got into you know on down to 100 and then all of a sudden that you've got 99 days and the phrase they use them as I'm a double-digit midget right this is great a double-digit midget and then I mean from there you know you sure how short are you that would be one of the common questions how short I know 90 627 I'm so sure i could sit on the edge with diamond my feet with dangle that's how short I am you know they have all these expressions and so that's what kept people moving forward thinking about you know one more day one more day one more day and the number just kept going down and down and down. Any point during this did the alarm become a natural thing to hear. Was there was there an alarm for like a firefighter IDEF. No I got you know there was nothing specific the only being a mortar platoon is at night if anybody was sleeping. The call well even during the day will always go out as a fire mission and that went out pretty loud. And when you know if you're sleeping you better be out there in about 10 seconds with at least some semblance of your brain functioning because they're going to be shouting out orders and everybody had a specific job and you went about doing your job. I don't think of it much today. Nah I I don't think much today I remember doing it. Did you obviously you know you had to learn to take a really quick action. I mean did it ever become kind of like to a point of nuisance. like it was going off all the time and then I got to the point like I'm gonna get up and I got to go out there or is it almost kind thanks for just a matter how tired I was sleepy where you just woke up and you were in it. To me it was a challenge particularly in the mortar platoon where we would get these calls for a fire mission because they would we never knew what direction you're going to be shooting. You know we're shooting at something maybe two three four miles away and so you never knew. To me it was always a challenge to say okay I'm going to get out there and I'm gonna pick that thing up and put it down within five degrees where it needs to be without using the site or anything just because I know what I'm doing. And we practiced used to practice all the time on this and they call out you know the direction using a compass. Direction is hundred twelve degrees and ok good and you pick it up and drop it down and they check and i'm pretty close on that one. And that's used to train new guys the same thing that you know worse came to worse you could get pretty close without even looking. So that was you know jump up and go and okay what's up next. So is your primary responsibility always to carry the mortar around to drop mortar rounds or was your primary responsibility a lot more the time more patrolling or kind of just having prepared? What was the primary energy demand? The first primary duties during the first and 4-5 months i was assigned to an infantry company. So we were out on patrol. We would come back to base camp for two or three or four days and cleanup and resupplying go back out again. And then when I got out of the hospital came back I got reassigned to the mortar platoon. That was more in a base camp where we were in a in a fixed position and I think we only went out once or twice. We go forward we actually take the gear and and move. We will only do that I think once or twice 4-5 days at a time and and then back to base camp again. How did you stay in touch with your family and if you're able to it all to you. Writing letters all the time. There was no postage you didn't have to pay postage and so I mean you could literally take the back of the side of a sea ration box. Cardboard you can tear that off and just draw a little stamp in the corner with your name on there in country free and then writing like a postcard. So as long as you have something to write on and something to write with. It was baggies at the time and called ziplocs but bags plastic bags greatest invention in the world for GI's out in the field. You keep things dry so you put on stuff and always had in one pocket or the other or maybe in your rucksack but you always had a way to write a letter. And so you wrote to whomever you thought would write back to you family generally would. How often would you write home? Probably every other day anyway sometimes every day. It depends on what you're doing and where you were and how much time you had and you know if you had two hours where you knew you're just waiting to go out on patrol and you can just grab something write a little note and leave it with guys there. And we'll go to the mailroom and and and off back to the US. How important were those those letters from home for you? Critical everybody between the letters themselves and little care package we called them care packages that people would send us. I mean those are like you know someone would get a care package. They used to get them out to the field to us when we were out in the field. They bring that stuff out you know guys come off with a Mail Sack. I never, never really thought about it much but not too long ago I was it at this function and we had a table set up, veterans table set up, and we talked with the guy and he said he was a mailman in the Army. I said ...wait wait wait... he said yeah... I was the postman for this unit Ah well yeah ok come to think of it we did get mail there I guess you would have to a mailman, a postman you know, never thought of being a postman in I might have enlisted for being a mailman but never thought of that until it's like two months ago that i talked to this guy and so they would get the mail out to you, and when those care packages would come everybody in your squad was like what do we get what we get you know, it was shared stuff, you know. Well I'm keeping this but, you guys can have some of that here's some cookies and you know it Ahh! Did grandma send more cookies? You know we all go running over all right way to go cookies! It was, I mean it was it was the highlight of the day. While not post did you have time for recreation? In country? Umm... One day we went to the beach. That was kind of cool. We were out for I don't know.. On this patrol, for like a month I don't think we ever saw anything but we were out and so our reward was they sent us to the beach for the day. And it was beautiful beach too, and, and served up I think we cooked steaks or they cooked steaks on the grill for us and some beer that was actually cold, and you know, that was, I think in the time I was there, that was it, that's about it for the R&R. I mean you could throw baseball's around, you know that kind of stuff. Base camp, if you had stuff you could throw a football around or throw a baseball around but, that about it was are often much time did to do that, to kind of throw the ball around? You could, yeah when I was in a mortar platoon in the base camp when we were fixed, we weren't walking every day, you know, we got our work done, we'd train every day, we'd clean everything up, everything is ready to go, you might have a couple hours, where you know, we can go clean again, or ya know, throw the ball around for 15 minutes or 20 minutes or whatever. Where were you when the war ended? Were you already back home? Yeah I came home in June of 1969 and then the U.S. involvement ran for four more years till 1973, and then the ultimate fall of Saigon, if you will, was in April of 75, so I was already home. In fact, I remember I went back to, I got out of the army on a Friday and I started back to college on Monday, because it was January. I had that problem when I got drafted, right, well now I did the other direction I got out on Friday, started back to class on Monday, because I really want to go to school. And then I transferred back up to a different school up North, and I remember sitting in the student union when they were drawing the ping-pong balls for the lottery, for the draft lottery, I remember sitting there and thinking, god I feel sorry for these people you know what, I don't have to worry because they aren't going to draft me again. And you know, they're pulling numbers out, and you know, what's your birthday, what's your number, what's your number, and I had no idea didn't matter to me what my number was. But I felt bad for the guys who know, number one thru number probably about 150 or 160 I would guess, maybe they all got drafted so.. Do you do you remember the the day that it happened? Do you know what you were doing that day? On ping-pong ball day? Oh, the day the war ended. So, that.. 1973 I was finally finishing up my undergraduate degree and I remember seeing the helicopters lifting the people off the roof of the American Embassy it was the big news, at the time, and thinking that I hope all the GIs actually got out of there. They should be out of there by now, other than the guys that were the Marines that were guarding the the embassy at the time, you know, hopefully everybody got home and then part of me I think was thinking, I probably would not want to be the last guy to get killed in Vietnam. That.. you know.. somebody had to be obviously, but I don't.. I wouldn't want to be that guy. That would be a real bummer. Do you remember how you returned home? Did you.. like they fly you back in large military aircraft? No actually, going over and coming back was on commercial. Chartered commercial, and there's two or three charter airlines at the time that were flying and I mean, it had flight attendants and you know, civilian crews and so on. So going into, landing in country, it was kinda quiet on the plane, and then surprisingly, going home there's a lot of buzz and then the plane, as it taxied, it got dead silent on the plane, it was kind of creepy, but nobody was saying a word, and we taxied, then off we go, and the pilot came on and said, you know gentlemen you just left Vietnam. Boom! and the place exploded! All 200 or however many that were on the plane, they're yelling and screaming we're passing around bottles and drinking and, you know, I'm done! I'm out! I'm out! I'm going home! Holy cow this feels so good! But it was funny because, proceeding that, man you could hear a pin drop in that plane. Please don't, don't let anything happen to us. You know, we're almost out of here! Yay! I don't even remember, I think we made two or three stops on the way back to California, who cares? You know, make ten. I don't care, it's.. all counts towards my time so, I don't care how long it takes me to get back there 'cause I know I'm going home! Yay! Do you, how were you received by your family and community, when you got home. Ahhh, you know.. it was.. I'm actually, I was happy to see them, because I left out of San Francisco on a commercial flight back to Buffalo, I probably changed in Chicago or someplace, I don't really remember but, I do know that when I got on a plane and I was sitting in a nice in a bulkhead seat so I had plenty of room, and there was an older woman sitting next to me, and she was striking up a conversation. I pretty much just wanted to sleep, and she struck up this conversation and.. she was.. you know, we're proud of you and so on, I said, wow, cool this is, you know, because I'm hearing that people are, you know, cursing the guys out and spitting on them, and so I think, man.. this.. I didn't have any that, thank god, and she was very nice, but she was an antique collector and she had this big, like a catalog with her, and she said now where do you live again? And I say, oh in Buffalo and she was going through her book telling, oh here's a lovely show here and then you know like, okay oh yeah, that's really what I want to hear on my way home, but it was, it was you know, it was nice I mean, she didn't spit on me, that was nice. Did that make it a lot easier to adjust then when you, getting home, with, you know, their warm welcome? Yeah. Yeah. I.. like i said, I didn't experience what some guys did, I, you know, I was very fortunate I guess, and, and get home and put your uniform away, and live in civilian clothes again for a while. And, I remember going out to dinner with my significant other and her mom, and a friend of hers was at where we went and they knew the owner of the restaurant who, was buying US drinks and I mean it was, hey, all right, this is ok, I like this idea. How did you end up.. how did you readjust to civilian life? Was that an easy process? Was that little difficult readjusting? It was a little bit tough, like I said, I'd get out on Friday, started back to college on Monday so I had a focus point, you know, gotta study, because I knew I was not going to do what I did the first time I went to college. I said, you know, I need to get serious about this and focus. So that part of it really helped the downside was now I was 22, 21 I guess i was 21, 22 maybe, and have been through the war and now i'm sitting in class with seventeen-year-olds. I'm only like five years older but I was like a hundred years older and experienced and so that was a bit of a struggle was trying to you know trying to be like a normal person in college when you're really just so much different and you don't want to be different you want to kind of blend in and then that was that was a bit of a struggle. Do you think you since fully readjusted to civilian life? Yeah. What really helped of course at some point I finally said you probably get some professional help just to deal with some of these things to make sure I'm not slowly going out somewhere I don't want to go and so I did that and and then I joined a Vietnam veterans group and that was great because we get to talk you know at the time people still aren't talking a lot about the Vietnam War. It wasn't real popular, but we could talk amongst ourselves and they understood and so now doing more and more of that outreach work and even younger vets and then as i mentioned once before was that I volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and I've been back to Vietnam twice now habitat building houses and both times with other Vietnam vets. Do you think everything will ever be the same again, how life was before you were drafted? No but that's life you know it has to move forward mine moved in ways I didn't anticipate when I was graduating from high school. I'm trying to think, I knew one guy who had been in the military and went to Vietnam and I was in 1965 which is still fairly early in the war, but we knew one guy and I don't think he was wired up right anyways. I'm thinking oh he's probably not representative of what the military is like and so I never really gave it much thought you know and then three years later I'm going over there it's like whoa ok so i don't think i'll ever i'll never go back to the way I was unfortunately. I'll never go back to the way i was when i was in high school. What you said earlier you remember some better organizations which ones are you a member of? Vietnam Veterans of America and there should be a Lehigh Valley chapter 4 15 here in the Lehigh Valley and I belong to VFW although i don't actively participate but I belong. And then through habitat I'm involved with the veterans build program through Habitat for Humanity and that's really been rewarding. What have you done since separation? Jobs, organizations or you know or education. Well I got out of the army on a Friday, back to college on Monday at a junior college in Texas. Which is what my last duty assignment was in Texas and so I started back right away and then ended up transferring back to school I started in outside Buffalo and pretty much went straight through. Finished my bachelor's degree and then went on to a program to get my masters in education and that involved, I was actually in a program that we were supposed to go to the Peace Corps at the end of that program in Afghanistan at the time which was after a lot of the initial issues in Afghanistan but before everything hit the fan over there with the Russians and and ultimately with the US and then we got caught up in some snafu political issue with. My wife and I were dating at the time and we wanted to postpone leaving for Afghanistan for a couple months because we're going to get married that summer. And they wanted us to go with the rest of our program so we just want you know we need like two months to finish this up and they they wouldn't agree to that so we sent notes into the peace corps people that said you know here's who we are and what we're doing we'd still like the Peace Corps we just need to go a little bit later and then they sent us back up rather direct message that said no openings for people in your skill area right now. Ok, we taught english as a second language okay this doesn't doesn't sound right but fine and we'll deal with that. So I went into public education and then from there went into private sector and was doing adult education, leadership and management development and I did that for 40 years. Actually I'm still doing it part-time on a contract basis so my wife stayed in public education and then ultimately a higher-end teaching a couple universities and she stayed in that area. How do you think that you're work time experience has affected how you are now? It's funny because there's still some things my middle daughter will she quotes just everyone every once in awhile yeah it's funny because she's so that's something my dad taught me when I was about 12 or 13 and that was picked the hill you want to die on one of things we learned any army, pick the hill you want to die on, you know in other words hey if this is a losing situation there's you know you're all going to get killed then why would you do that. That's not the hill you want to die on. We'll come back to fight another day. And so when she was pretty rebellious as a teenager to put it politely and that's what I said, I said Casey look you needed pick the hill you want to die on. If this is the one if you're convinced that you need to go to this party on Friday otherwise the world's going to end that's fine just pick the hill you want to die on. Today she's an attorney now at a very reputable firm and chose to tell people all the time and my dad taught me a long time ago pick the hill you want to die and you know what this one is ins't it and so that's one of those things that's always stuck with me and I use that in the management training programs I would run i've used that a lot of time to explain to people that you're in this management situation as a leadership situation do you really want to to dig your heels in that deeply is this the hill you want to die on. People are like what do you mean think about it you know it is this the hill you want to die and you want to enforce this rule with this person is that really the hill you want to die on. Ok you're right let me think about that and then you know they may back off or they may say no we're going full speed ahead okay just just wanted to warn you about that and that's you know one of things that's always stuck with me. The other thing that I learned being in the infantry one of the things we learned which was absolutely counterintuitive to me but that is you always move towards the sound of the gun fire now that's counterintuitive to me it's like no it means they're shooting at you know I'm getting closer. Well the end of the day you can't do anything, you can take out the enemy unless you know where he is. And the only way you're going to do that is move towards the sound of the gun fire. So you know after the first time i heard this was like no way and then I was like wait that does make sense doesn't it because otherwise I don't know what I'm shooting at. And in the business world it's the same thing and leadership development stuff I would you know keep the same move towards the sound of gunfire whatever that is you know if the issue in business was we have high turnover in our building then don't run the other way and pretend it's not there figure out what it is you gotta go, you have to identify it before you can fix it. And so those are two things that kind of stayed with me forever. How has your service impacted your feelings towards the military and towards war in general? Well I'll tell you I don't envy anybody going in the military I didn't want to do it I went because it was my obligation and I felt that much of a commitment to my country I guess that i would do it. People that enlist I admire them. I mean got it thank God for people like that, because we don't have a draft today and so thank God for people that say hey I'm gonna go serve for whatever the reasons it there they're over there serving their you know their in some foreign based on a ship somewhere good for them I mean I really appreciate what they do it and they think they deserve an awful lot of support we just the habitat build that I just completed recently in Vietnam we had a Gulf War veteran in our group where a woman who was in Iraq and Afghanistan, thank God for them you know I really appreciate what they've done and when we sit down talk about it we all shared the same experiences is a different time and place, but will pretty much hear the same experiences well pretty much felt the same way when we were done so no hurry for them interesting dynamic going on now and in the Vietnam veterans who feel like we were ignored for many many years. That's what brought the groups together in Vietnam veterans groups together so tightly that you know there were places where the VFW if you are going on that they would let you know that wasn't a real war ok people really died, but so now you got younger vets and there's still a bunch of Vietnam vets that are not willing to to reach out to the younger got to take months we've been through the same thing you have just a different time and place and so that's kind of bugging me and I'm pushing for all I can say we need to talk and include other veterans of other other conflicts that ring for veterans let's let's share that that won't know what we've been through. What would you what message would you like to leave for future generations both veterans and civilians? Funny, because we just have this conversation last night as a matter of fact that veterans meeting that I was that about what's our legacy and and you know what do we what do we want to leave behind as a group as a Vietnam veterans group what do we want to leave behind and so then what that's I guess that's pushing us pushing me certainly to think about how can I put together some kind of a program that I could take out to middle schools high schools and colleges and say hey look it's from somebody who's been there here's you know here's a little background on Vietnam country here's background of the conflict the political implications of what went on in there and then the end result. If you don't recognize history are doomed to repeat it and that's I think that's how I think we should really be putting our legacy out there is you know we went through this and trying not to be bitter and you know I didn't want to go into the stupid war or whatever I, but let's really talk broader-based issues about if your 10th grade right now also what Vietnam I'm not like ancient history yeah, but once again if you ignore it you're doomed to repeat it and you really want to do that so I that's field where I think going forward what I think we all my generation I think that's what we need to be doing. I know this is kind of tricky question sometimes, but all things considered are you glad you served looking back? Yeah at the end of the day yeah I hated every moment of it well there's a few times like going to the beach that was really fun, but generally speaking you know I didn't want to be in the military. I didn't volunteer to be in the military. I went, because I felt obligated to do it, but my life was changed in ways that you know I don't know what it would have been like had I not gone in the military. No I'm gonna give me a sense of purpose of sense of direction right back to college I knew I didn't want to be in the military all my life for as a career so you know I'm gonna find a career that I really want and and do it and I was fortunate enough to be able to do that so yeah it gave me some life skills that hard hard-earned life skills, but once served me well. Would you have done anything differently you could have gone back dessert? I might have gone with the helicopter guys when they offered me the chance to go fly a helicopter the more I think about it in fact one of the folks that was on my recent habitat build and he was a helicopter pilot and Anton just talking to him about experiences he had I'm thinking that whatever really cool and you know maybe I should have done that they you know they're I believe there is a little over 2,000 helicopter pilots that died in Vietnam which is a lot, but I don't know there are days when I think that might have been fun.


Club career

Born in Birmingham, Davis started his career with Stoke City as an apprentice[1] in 1982 but never made a senior appearance. However, he played more than 140 matches for both Crewe Alexandra and Burnley, making his Crewe debut at the age of 18, and captaining the team aged 19. He was also a key figure in the time he was at Burnley. He then played over 100 matches for Barnsley in Division 1, including 24 appearances in the season in which they were promoted to the Premier League.[2] He had loan spells at York City and Oxford United, eventually being signed by Division 1 outfit, Oxford United in 1998.

The final years of his playing career saw him in Cheshire with Macclesfield Town, and with Northwich Victoria and Nantwich Town – where he was player-manager of both clubs.

International career

Davis was capped by the England national youth team.[1]

Management career

Northwich Victoria

He was appointed as player-manager of Northwich Victoria in June 2003.[3] He resigned in September 2003, after the team were second bottom of the Conference National in the 2003–04 season.[4]

Nantwich Town

However, his managerial career at Nantwich Town was the most successful time in the club's long history, converting a club that had never achieved anything above the North West Counties League to one that was challenging for a Conference spot. He led Nantwich to two promotions in three seasons and a FA Vase victory, just missing out on promotion to the Conference North at the end of the 2008–09 season. His abilities attracted the attention of Crewe Alexandra, where he had spent four seasons as a player. On 17 May 2009, it was announced that he would become assistant manager to Gudjon Thordarson at Crewe.[5]

Crewe Alexandra

Davis remained as Thordarson's assistant through the Icelandics short lived tenure at Gresty Road before the former Stoke City manager was relieved of his role in October 2009. Taking up the vacant manager's role was Dario Gradi, now in his third stint as Crewe manager kept Davis as his assistant manager. Gradi remained in the managerial position at the club until the autumn of 2011 his position was starting to become questioned by the Crewe fans, this was only galvanised further by a 3–0 home defeat to Torquay United which left the club near the relegation zone.[6] Although Gradi was still manager of the club, Davis took charge of the next match against Oldham Athletic in the Football League Trophy after the Crewe manager could not attend after feeling unwell.[7] Although Crewe lost the match 3–1, Davis was appointed the new Crewe manager a couple of days later with Gradi moving to his former role as Technical Director - a role he took following the appointment of Steve Holland as first team coach back in the summer of 2007.[8][9]

Promoting coach Neil Baker as his assistant manager,[10] Davis' first match, officially, as Crewe manager was a home FA Cup tie to Colchester United. Although the railwaymen lost the tie 4–1,[11] Davis' brief for the remainder season was specific: keep Crewe in the football league.[10] Davis was successful in his target keeping Crewe in the football league and, in a run that saw the club go 16 matches unbeaten, the English manager helped Crewe qualify for the League Two play-offs. Following a 3–2 win over two legs with Southend United and a 2–0 win over Cheltenham Town at Wembley, Davis' team were promoted to League One.[12]

Davis had lost two key figures in that season's promotion campaign in the summer with Nick Powell completing a three million pound transfer to Manchester United and captain Ashley Westwood for an undisclosed fee to Aston Villa but they were replaced by a number of summer signings such as forward Mathias Pogba, defender Mark Ellis and midfielder Abdul Osman. Davis successfully secured safety in League One in his first season and also guided his team to a second Wembley appearance this time in the final of the Football League Trophy against Southend. The Railwaymen won the tie 2–0 with goals from Luke Murphy and Max Clayton.[13]

As with the previous summer, Davis lost a key member of his midfield this time in the form of Luke Murphy who left the club for Championship club Leeds United in 2013 for a million pounds. Despite a brief period linking him with the vacant Wolves managerial position,[14] Davis remained at the Alex. The 2013–14 season was less successful than Davis' previous seasons, compacted even more after seven first team players were held by Devon and Cornwall Police for an alleged sexual assault during the team's pre-season training in Redruth.[15] The players were cleared of all charges in November,[16] a few months into the new campaign. Davis described the decision as a "noose being removed from our necks" citing the case as one of the reasons for the team's poor start to the campaign.[17] Further to the sex assault allegations, Davis was also having attitude issues with summer signing Anthony Grant and former Newcastle youngster Brad Inman - listing the pair on loan and isolating them from the rest of the squad in training labelling the pair as a "disruption."[18][19] The pair were later reinstated to the squad and first team duties following an improvement in their attitudes and helped Crewe avoid relegation on the last day of the season with a 2–1 victory over local rivals Preston North End.

The 2014–15 season was no better in terms of Crewe's performance. The team lost 10 of their first 12 matches, and eventually finished in 20th position - remaining in League One despite losing the final match of the season, against Bradford City, because of results in fixtures elsewhere.

The following season started in a similar pattern, with the team winning just two of their first 15 league matches, and crashing out of the FA Cup in the first round, defeated at Gresty Road by non-league Eastleigh,[20] forcing Davis to defend his position as the 'right man' for the job.[21] Crewe's relegation to League Two was confirmed following a 3–0 defeat at Port Vale on 9 April 2016, with five matches remaining.[22]

Davis was sacked as Crewe Alexandra manager on 8 January 2017.[23][24]

Leyton Orient

On 10 July 2017, Davis was appointed as head coach of newly relegated National League club Leyton Orient on a two-year contract.[25] After the club won just five of their 19 league matches, he was sacked on 14 November 2017.[26]

In September 2018, Davis was reported to be in the running to be appointed manager of Cheltenham Town.[27]

Personal life

His son, Harry, was at Crewe Alexandra but now plays for St Mirren, and is also a centre-back. He made his professional debut at the end of the 2009–10 season, playing for Crewe against Bradford City.[28]

Another son, Joe, is a defender at Port Vale, having made his professional debut at the club during his first spell in April 2011.[29] On 22 February 2014, for 33 minutes of a match at Port Vale, Davis's sons played on opposite teams against each other.[30][31]

Managerial statistics

As of match played 11 November 2017
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record Ref
P W D L Win %
Northwich Victoria 4 June 2003 29 September 2003 11 1 3 7 009.1 [4][32][33]
Crewe Alexandra 10 November 2011 8 January 2017 272 84 71 117 030.9 [34][35]
Leyton Orient 10 July 2017 14 November 2017 22 6 5 11 027.3 [35]
Total 305 91 79 135 029.8


Crewe Alexandra



  1. ^ a b c d e Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2000). The 2000–2001 Official PFA Footballers Factfile. Harpenden: Queen Anne Press. p. 84. ISBN 978-1-85291-626-8.
  2. ^ "Games played by Steve Davis in 1996/1997". Soccerbase. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  3. ^ Oliver, Pete (16 June 2003). "Davis relishing Vics challenge". BBC Sport. Retrieved 5 March 2008.
  4. ^ a b "Davis resigns at Northwich". BBC Sport. 29 September 2003. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  5. ^ "Davis Becomes Alex Assistant". Crewe Chronicle. 17 June 2009. Retrieved 16 June 2009.
  6. ^ Hornbrook (2014), Pg. 22
  7. ^ Hornbrook (2014), Pg. 23
  8. ^ "Dario Gradi steps down as Crewe Alexandra manager". BBC Sport. 10 November 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  9. ^ "Davis To Take Over As First Team Manager". Crewe Alexandra F.C. 10 November 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  10. ^ a b Hornbrook (2014), Pg. 30
  11. ^ "Crewe 1–4 Colchester". BBC Sport. 12 November 2011.
  12. ^ a b Begley, Emlyn (27 May 2012). "Cheltenham 0–2 Crewe". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 29 March 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  13. ^ a b Osborne, Chris (7 April 2013). "Crewe 2–0 Southend". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  14. ^ "Steve Davis: Crewe boss favourite for Wolves job". BBC Sport. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  15. ^ "Seven Crewe Alexandra footballers held over sex attack claims". BBC Sport. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  16. ^ "No charge for Crewe Alexandra rape suspect footballers". BBC Sport. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  17. ^ Ryan, Belinda. "Alex boss speaks out after rape allegation against players is dismissed". Crewe Chronicle. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  18. ^ "Brad Inman and Anthony Grant available for loan". BBC Sport. 25 November 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  19. ^ Morse, Peter (23 November 2013). "Grant and Inman labelled a 'disruption'". Crewe Chronicle. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  20. ^ Crewe 0–1 Eastleigh, BBC Sport, 7 November 2015. Retrieved: 12 November 2015.
  21. ^ "Steve Davis: Crewe boss insists he is 'right man' for the job". BBC Sport. 10 November 2015. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  22. ^ "Port Vale 3-0 Crewe Alexandra". BBC Sport. BBC. 9 April 2016. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  23. ^ "Club Part Company With Steve Davis" (Press release). Crewe Alexandra F.C. 8 January 2017. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  24. ^ "Crewe Alexandra: David Artell named manager after sacking of Steve Davis". BBC Sport. BBC. 8 January 2017. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  25. ^ "Leyton Orient: Steve Davis named new head coach on two-year deal". BBC Sport. 10 July 2017. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  26. ^ "Steve Davis: Leyton Orient sack head coach with club 19th in National League". BBC Sport. BBC. 14 November 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  27. ^ Palmer, Jon (2 September 2018). "Former Crewe Alexandra boss in running for Cheltenham Town manager's job". Gloucestershire Live. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
  28. ^ Morse, Peter (12 May 2010). "Crewe Alex: Family ties no issue for debut boy Harry Davis". Crewe Chronicle. Retrieved 15 August 2010.
  29. ^ "Port Vale: Ede believes potential is there". The Sentinel. Stoke-on-Trent. 3 November 2009. Retrieved 3 November 2009.
  30. ^ "Port Vale v Crewe: Steve Davis plays down family pride". BBC Sport. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  31. ^ "Port Vale 1 Crewe Alexandra 3". BBC Sport. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
  32. ^ "Archived News and Information: 27 May to 6 June, 2003". Altrincham F.C. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  33. ^ "Results/matches: 2003/04". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  34. ^ "Results/matches: 2011/12". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  35. ^ a b "Managers: Steve Davis". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 8 August 2017.


External links

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