Player Memories: Dai Davies
Before the famous clash with Fiorentina in the UEFA Cup in 2008, Everton's previous encounter with Italian opposition was AC Milan in the same competition 23 years earlier.
Dai Davies was in goal for the Blues for the second leg in the San Siro.
Having signed for the Blues in December 1970 from Swansea City, he only made two first team appearances before 1974. In the three years that followed he alternated with David Lawson before leaving for Wrexham in 1977.
The match in the San Siro in 1975 was one of the most memorable experiences of his time at Everton. After a 0–0 draw at Goodison Park, a single goal in the second leg was enough to take the Italians through to the next round. Davies recalled the reception the Milanese supporters gave their English guests, and how the Everton manager was wary of falling victim to Johnny Foreigner’s ‘dirty tricks’.
“I remember in the preparation that Billy Bingham didn’t want us to eat fruit because he was paranoid that something would have been done to it.
“It was a magnificent stadium and the fans were congregating by the goal, with a klaxon and a loudspeaker close by. There were all sorts of obscenities shouted about the Queen and England; they were trying to intimidate us.
“It was a very tight game and there weren’t many chances. It was very competitive but we kept it to 1–0 and that was a penalty.”