Writer: Peverell Green
Date:Monday December 23 2013
Peverell Green steps back in time to take a look at the career of Steve Davey who is still a familiar face around Home Park today.
STEVE DAVEY - Born 5th September 1948 Plymouth, Devon.
Local boy Steve began his football career at a very early age, playing for both Plymouth and Devon schoolboys before being signing as an apprentice with Argyle in 1964.
He was given his first team debut by manager Derek Ufton on 19th November 1966 in a 3-0 defeat at Blackburn.
He made another nine appearances in his first season scoring three goals, the first came on 1st March when he got the Argyle goal in a 1-1 draw at Ipswich, he followed that up exactly a month later when on 1st April he scored in a 2-1 defeat at home to Bristol City. His third goal came in the last home game of the season in a 2-1 win at home to Charlton, he scored the winner after Norman Piper had opened the scoring.
His talent was recognised when before the next season started he was selected to play for England in the Youth World Cup in Turkey, playing in two games in the tournament.
Steve played more regularly through the 1967-68 season and started the season in good form after his International games. In the first home game he scored the winner in a 2-1 home win over Aston Villa with fellow former apprentice John Tedesco scoring the first goal. His next came in a heavy home defeat when Argyle were beaten 5-2 by Hull, Steve got the first Argyle goal and Mike Harrison the other.
Steve's final goal of the season came in a 2-1 win at home to Blackburn with Steve and Duncan Neale scoring. Unfortunately Argyle finished the season in bottom place and were relegated.
With Argyle starting their first season in Division 3 in ten years, Steve got them off to a great start scoring early in the opening game against Crewe, the visitors struck back with two goals and it took an equaliser from Frank Lord to save a point.
He didn't score again until 28th December when he got the Argyle goal in a 1-1 draw at home to Gillingham.
After the next game a 1-1 draw against Brighton with Johnny Hore scoring the goal.
Steve went on a goal scoring spree netting seven goals in the next five games. He scored both goals in a 2-0 win at Oldham and in the next game scored another two in a 4-1 win at home to Barrow with Norman Piper and Richard Reynolds also scoring.
Steve then scored goals in a run of three successive away games, the first in a 1-0 win at Rotherham and four days later at Torquay also in a 1-0 win and finally a 2-1 win at Orient with Steve and Richard Reynolds scoring the goals.
I didn't go to Rotherham but can tell you there were plenty of Greens at the Torquay and Orient games. Steve's next came when he scored the first goal in a 2-2 draw at Tranmere with Dave Burnside getting the second.
Steve's eleventh and last goal of the season came in a 2-1 defeat at home to Watford.
As in the previous season in 1969-70 Steve scored most of his goals in the space of a month. He scored his first in mid-October when Argyle lost 3-2 at home to Rochdale; he scored the first with the other being scored by Trevor Shepherd.
In the next home game he scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win at home to Walsall.
The following Saturday he scored again in a 1-1 draw at Barrow. In mid-November he scored the second goal in a 2-0 win at home to Brentford in a FA Cup first round replay after Dave Burnside had scored the first.
He had to wait another month before he scored again when he scored in a 1-1 draw with Southport at Home Park. His last for the season came in March when he scored a consolation goal in a 3-1 defeat at Bury.
While still a first team regular Steve didn't score as many goals as he had in previous seasons as new manager Ellis Stuttard decided he would be better used a defender and when he did get forward it was as a goal provider for Mike Bickle and Derek Rickard, he still managed to hit the back of the net three times though.
He scored the first in a 2-2 draw at home to Rochdale with fellow defender Colin Sullivan also scoring. He then scored the Argyle goal in a 1-1 draw at Shrewsbury and finished off with the third goal in a 3-1 win at Bristol Rovers after Jimmy Hinch and Don Hutchins had scored the first two.
In 1971-72 Steve continued with his defensive duties and wasn't able to get forward as much as he would have liked.
His only goal of the season came in August in a 3-2 win at York. He scored the first goal and two from Les Latcham made sure both points went to Argyle.
With Tony Waiters taking over as manager in October 1972 Steve reverted to his original position and started scoring goals again.
He scored the Argyle goal in a 3-1 defeat at home to Oldham, then as in previous seasons scored goals in quick succession.
In February he scored five goals in eleven days, on the 6th he scored twice in a 3-0 win at home to Scunthorpe with Derek Rickard also scoring on the 9th he scored the goal in a 1-1 draw at Shrewsbury and finished off with two goals on the 17th in a 4-1 home win over Rotherham with Alan Welsh also scoring twice. He scored both goals in a 2-1 win at York and finished the season off by scoring in the last away game of the season in a 1-1 draw at Grimsby.
1973-74 saw Steve enjoy his best ever season, regularly scoring goals.
He started in a 5-0 beating of Rochdale at Home Park in September, he scored the last goal after Johnny Hore, Alan Rogers and Paul Mariner (2) had started the rout.
His next came in a 3-2 defeat at Aldershot with an own goal making it a close match.
The following Saturday another own goal played a part in a 2-1 Argyle win over Walsall with Steve scoring the second. In October he scored the second goal in a 3-1 win at Rochdale with Alan Welsh and yet another own goal ensuring Argyle took both points.
In the next game he scored the second goal in a 2-0 win at home to Port Vale with Paul Mariner opening the scoring. He again scored in successive games in November, on the 10th Steve scored in a 1-1 draw at home to Halifax and three days later scored the goal in a 1-0 win over Grimsby also at Home Park. His next came in a 4-1 home win over Southport, he got the first with Alan Welsh and Paul Mariner (2) completing the scoring.
A month later Argyle again scored four goals in a game, this time at Walsall, Steve scored twice with Hughie Reed and Paul Mariner also scoring. He then scored the Argyle goal in a 2-1 defeat at Port Vale in March, in what was dubbed by the fans 'Black Sunday' after scoring Steve was sent off, in the second half he was followed by Dave Provan and when the team were thinking it couldn't get any worse Bobby Saxton also got his marching orders. Given they finished the game with only eight men 2-1 was a credible score.
His twelfth league goal of the season came in a 5-2 defeat at Wrexham with the other goal being an own goal, it was the eighth own goal Argyle had been gifted that season.
As well as his league goals Steve also scored seven in the League Cup taking Argyle to the semi-finals.
In the first round he scored twice in a 2-0 win at Torquay. In the second round he scored another two in a 4-0 win at home to Portsmouth with Ernie Machin and Paul Mariner also scoring.
In the fourth round at QPR Argyle won 3-0 with goals from Alan Welsh (2) and Steve seeing them into the next round. In the fifth round the same two scorers teamed up again in a 2-1 win at Birmingham.
Argyle's next opponents were star studded Manchester City, in a two legged semi-final Argyle played the game on a midweek afternoon due to power cuts restricting the use of floodlights, on a mud heap of a pitch after torrential rain.
Against all odds Argyle took the lead when Steve took advantage of a City mistake and shot home. The majority of the 30,390 crowd were ecstatic. An equaliser meant the second leg at Maine Road a week later started all square, unfortunately City won the second leg 2-0 with Argyle missing out on the chance to go to Wembley.
Steve finished the season on nineteen goals and a firm favourite with the fans.
1974-75 started well for Steve, he was one of the first names on the team sheet, until on 7th September in a game at home to Tranmere, with Argyle comfortably winning they were awarded a penalty. Billy Rafferty had already scored twice so Steve who was the usual penalty taker let him take it to get his hat trick.
Although Argyle won 4-1 manager Tony Waiters wasn't pleased that Steve hadn't taken the spot kick and after the game they had words. As a result a week later Steve played his last game for the club in a 1-1 draw with Gillingham, spending the rest of the season playing in the reserves.
Rather than miss out on first team football when the chance came Steve moved to Hereford managed by former team mate John Sillett. While at Argyle he made 249 appearances and scored 55 goals.
In the three seasons Steve spent at Edgar Street he helped Hereford to the Third Division championship and made 107 league appearances scoring 32 goals before moving back to the south coast with Portsmouth.
While at Hereford he returned to Home Park when he was awarded a testimonial on 26th April 1975 Argyle beat Hereford 3-0 in front of 4,844 spectators with goals from Brian Johnson (2) and Paul Mariner sending them home happy.
Steve spent three seasons at Fratton Park playing a key part in Portsmouth's promotion from the Fourth Division in 1979-80 before moving nearer to home with Exeter. He made 92 league appearances and scored 8 goals.
Steve only spent a season at Exeter making 15 appearances before moving into non-league football.
He played for Bideford, Liskeard, Saltash and St.Blazey before finally deciding to hang up his boots.
Steve now owns a residential care home for the elderly in Plymouth and combines this with commentating for BBC Radio Devon alongside Gordon Sparks.
Date:Monday December 23 2013
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