A Scunthorpe United youth team coach will be honoured at this year’s National Football History Museum Ceremony in Manchester after being inducted in to the Hall of Fame for 2015.Gary Davies currently works with the club’s under 15 side on a part-time basis, but the Durham-born 41-year old will join the likes of Gary Neville and Stuart Pearce when he steps up on stage to receive his accolade for both his playing and coaching career.
Growing up in the North East of England, Gary was born with acute cerebral palsy, but never let that hold him back in his pursuit to play football. He appeared 85 times for the England CP team and captained them on numerous occasions after gaining his coaches badges whilst working with the Durham Football Association.
Gary moved to Barton-upon-Humber with his wife in 2013 and began working with the under 12’s in the Centre of Excellence alongside ex-Iron defender Nathan Stanton.
Speaking about his nomination, he said: “I work for the Home Office as my day job and I had a missed call from the FA asking whether I could give them a ring.
“I spoke to Peter Ackerley who is the Senior National Game Development Manager, and he explained to me that I would be inducted in to the hall of fame. It was one of those ridiculous moments where you’re positive it’s a wind up and it can’t be real!
“Having called time on my playing career in 2008 you don’t expect these sort of things to come along. The induction was in recognition of my coaching career and the fact that I’ve come from a disabled football background and I’m now working for a professional football club.
“It was a very humbling moment as I never thought they’d recognise me and I’m very grateful for both my induction and for getting the position I’ve managed to attain at Scunthorpe United Football Club.”
Talking about how he joined the coaching ranks at Glanford Park, Gary told us about how he wanted to integrate himself in to his new surroundings as quickly as possible after becoming a local, and that went hand in hand with his passion for coaching.
“I got involved after seeing a vacancy on the club’s website and being new to the area I wanted to get involved in the community,” he said.
“This seemed like a good opportunity for me because I had the awards and the coaching badges and I wanted to get back in to the swing of things. I emailed Tony Daws and asked if there were still vacancies and whether I could be considered.
“I interviewed for the position and got the e-mail to say whether I could help coach the juniors as I had the relevant qualifications. It was all about being in the right place at the right time!”
All in all there are 10 names on the induction list for 2015: Gary Neville, John Barnes, Stuart Pearce, Paul McGrath, Alan Mullery, Norman Hunter, Rob Crompton, Faye White, Ivor Allchurch and of course, Gary Davies.
Inductees are chosen by a panel featuring some of the biggest names in football including the Museum’s president Sir Bobby Charlton, vice president Sir Alex Ferguson, Gordon Taylor and Mark Lawrenson.
The official awards ceremony will take place in October in Manchester, with Gary handing over one of his caps, shirts and pairs of boots to be placed amongst the exhibits, and he spoke briefly about the meaning of the items to him personally that he put forward to be encased in the museum.
He said: “I have to write a little bit about each item to go alongside them in the exhibit, so I’ve got my last cap I ever received as a player and the last shirt I wore at my final tournament.
“As for my boots, my mother passed away in 2010 but she saw me play in Ireland in 2006. It was the only time she ever watched me play and I scored, so I’ll put them in too.”
Talking about the future, Gary rounded off talking about his long term plans regarding his working career, and how he wishes he could get more and more involved in coaching again.
He said: “The induction makes me want to continue coaching. Do I want it to be my full time job? I’d say probably. With the new stadium going up and new opportunities arising all the time there might be a place for me to get more involved.
"I’ll go and get my A license and go from there, and if I got that then for me I think it would prove that I have made the right choice.”