On June 18th 1979 Paul Davis signed professional forms for Arsenal.
Paul Davis was born in Dulwich on 9 December 1961, signed by Arsenal in 1977, and played for the first team for the first time against Tottenham on April 7 1980 at Tottenham. We won 2-1.
The cause of his sudden insertion into the side was the absence of Graham Rix. The following season he made nine league appearances, before in 1981/2 he became an automatic selection.
Paul was born on 9 December 1961 and as he made it into the Arsenal side he also made it to the England Under 21 side. He won the League Cup in 1987 beating Liverpool (that was the “Liverpool never lose when Rush scores” – game) and George Graham’s two titles in 1989 and 1991.
In 1988 Paul Davis was banned for nine matches for punching Glenn Cockerill of Southampton. Interestingly there are various dates (and indeed two locations) given on different sites for this match. I thought I remembered it as being at Highbury, but I have seen it listed as being at the Dell (indeed one site has a full report of the atmosphere at the Dell for the game) and on April 9 1988. I am sure that can’t be right, because I clearly remember being at that match and remember Paul Davis scoring. So I think it must have been the start of the 1988/9 season, at Highbury (for the reasons given below).
What was also interesting was that as the officials missed the game the FA for the first time (I think) turned to ITN and the BBC news cameras for film evidence. Spotting some free publicity the TV stations agreed and ran their shots time and time again, which is what got Paul banned for so long. Had the ref seen it and just sent him off, it would have been a much shorter ban.
George Graham immediately banned both broadcaster’s news cameras from the stadium. Again, I don’t know exactly how long this ban stayed in place.
Anyway, in 1993 he played in both the FA Cup and League Cup finals, and so is one of only a handful of players to win a domestic Cup Double. He also won the Cup Winners Cup in 1994.
Between 1988 and 1990 he fell out of favour, only playing 19 league games in those two seasons, but returned in style with 36 league games and 3 goals in 1990/91. All told he played 447 times for Arsenal and scored 37 goals.
Paul left Arsenal in 1995 and had an unsuccessful spell in Norway before making a final bow with five appearances for Brentford, retiring in 1995. The following season he joined Arsenal as a youth coach and stayed in that position until 2003 when he joined the PFA’s coaching team.
Amazingly he came by one of my local clubs (Kettering Town) when it was managed very briefly by Paul Gascoigne in October 2005, but when Gascoigne was sacked after a couple of months Paul left and returned to the Professional Footballer’s Association where he is a senior coach. He has FA and Pro UEFA Coaching badges, a UEFA ‘A’ Licence and the FA Diploma in Football Management from the University of Warwick. He has also worked regularly in anti-racism campaigns.
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