The Hibernian Historical Trust remember the green and white career of the left-back Joe Davis, who sadly passed away earlier this week at the age of 75.
Born in Glasgow on 22 May 1941, after service with Shettleston Juniors and Third Lanark, Joe Davis was signed for Hibs by manager Jock Stein during the 1964-65 season to replace the Irish international John Parke who was transferred to Sunderland on the very same day.
Ironically Joe would make his debut against his former side just a few days later, a 5-0 home win for Hibs on 14 November 1964.
The teams that day were as follows:
Hibernian: Wilson, Fraser and Davis, Stanton, McNamee and Baxter, Cormack, Hamilton (2 goals), Martin (3 goals), Quinn and Scott
Third Lanark: Williams, Connell and Mackay, Little Baillie and Geddes, Keith, Finlay, Cullen, Jackson and Murray
Referee: W Paterson (Bothwell)
Unfortunately the following week he would go down with appendicitis but, miraculously would miss only three games before returning to the side in a 2-1 victory over Partick Thistle at Easter Road. It would be the start of a quite remarkable run of 272 consecutive games in all competitions many of them as captain.
Peter Cormack (left) and Joe Davis, joint top league goalscorers in the 1966/67 season
During this time he would score an amazing 47 goals from the left back position, most, but not all from penalties. His first ever goal for the club did come from the spot during Hibs tour of North America in the summer of 1965, in a 9-2 victory against the British Columbia All Stars.
In Davies' first season at the club (1964-65), he became an integral part of a Hibs side under Jock Stein that just narrowly failed to win the league and cup double after the manager’s sudden and premature move to Parkhead.
At Easter Road Davis would go on to form a particularly productive goal scoring partnership with outside left Eric Stevenson, who’s trickery made him an obvious target for tackles inside the penalty area. The newspaper bye-line ‘Davis scored from the spot after Stevenson was brought down in the box’ was born.
So productive were his goal scoring exploits that in season 1966-67 he had the distinction of sharing first place in the league goal scoring charts with Peter Cormack, a tremendous claim to fame for a full back.
IN DAVIS' FIRST SEASON AT THE CLUB, SEASON 1964-65, HE BECAME AN INTEGRAL PART OF A HIBERNIAN UNDER JOCK STEIN THAT JUST NARROWLY FAILED TO WIN THE LEAGUE AND CUP DOUBLE.
During his time at Easter Road Davis would take part in many big games including a League Cup Final and the 1-0 victory against Hearts at Tynecastle on the first day of 1965 when Willie Hamilton scored the winner from close to the bye-line. David also contributed to Hibs record 11-1 league win against Hamilton Academicals, and participated in many European ties including Hibs famous 5-0 victory against the Italian side Napoli, Dino Zoff and all. His jersey from the Napoli game is currently on display in the stadium.
His last goal for the club was scored from the penalty spot in Hibernian's 1-0 home victory against Aberdeen on 29 March, 1969. His last ever appearance in a green and white jersey was the embarrassing 3-0 defeat the following season by the recently promoted Ayr United in Ayrshire, on 30 August 1969. This was an event that would soon lead to the resignation of manager Bob Shankly and the end of Davis’s tremendous unbroken run for the first team.
The player however had been unsettled at Easter Road for some time, already having posted several requests for a transfer, and he would move to English second division side Carlisle United not long after.
The teams for his last game as a Hibernian player were as follows:
Ayr United: Stewart, Malone and Murphy, Fleming Quinn and Mitchell, Young, Ferguson, Ingram McCulloch and Rough (Substitute: Hood)
Hibernian: Marshall, Shevlane and Davis, Wilkinson, Black and Stanton, Marinello, Grant McBride, Cormack and Stevenson (Substitute: O’Rourke)
Referee: H Currie
The Turnbull’s Tornado’s side of the early to mid 70’s has a special place in the history of Hibernian Football Club, and rightly so, but the team of the mid to late 1960’s that featured the likes of Pat Stanton, Jim Scott, Eric Stevenson and others was not all that far behind, and gave the Hibs fans many happy hours of entertainment.
The long serving Joe Davis who featured in many of the games will always have a special place in the memories of those who were fortunate to see him play. All at Hibernian Football Club send our condolences to his family and close friends at this difficult time. His memory marches on.
Written by Tom Wright
Joe Davis Playing Record
League games only
1961-62: 2 apps
1962-63: 14 apps
1963-64: 34 apps
1964-64: 11 apps
1964-65: 20 apps
1965-66: 34 apps, 8 goals
1966-67: 34 apps, 13 goals
1967-68: 34 apps, 7 goals
1968-69: 34 apps, 6 goals
1969-70: 1 apps
1969-70: 20 apps
1970-71: 42 apps
1971-72: 13 apps