Even for world-weary types like your correspondent, who prefer their battles hard-fought and their victories without any sense of entitlement, this is terribly hard to resist. It almost feels as if the anticlimax at Wembley didn’t happen; perhaps it was such a non-event, swimming in the spring heat haze, that any memories have simply evaporated and left little trace. What might’ve been a watershed moment just passed quietly into history, and here we are: the old gang, back together for another shot at the big time. Even for world-weary types, it’s a tantalising prospect.
Tag: RIP Jimmy Davis
Manchester United have the air of a team in complete control of their own destiny, so a side of Watford’s limitations were always going to struggle in a contest their manager Aidy Boothroyd had likened to “Muhammad Ali against Jimmy Krankie”.
As the game closes, Jimmy Davis’ family and friends congregate around a presentation table. The Brummie wearing a Watford shirt who said hello on the way in turns out to be Jimmy’s mate, the guy responsible for arranging this tribute match. Cyrille Regis has showed up too – he always looked as big as a house on the telly, but is much slighter and shorter than he is in my mind’s eye. He awards a grinning Junior the man of the match award, and then steps aside for Danny Webber to present medals and the trophy to his erstwhile teammates.
The first game we played after the tragic death of Jimmy Davis.
Watford fans came to pay their respects to Jimmy Davis, who died in a car crash on Saturday, and the football seemed almost irrelevant. But after 108 minutes of stalemate, on came Scott Fitzgerald to slide in at the far post and, with his first touch, settle the tie.
The 9th of August 2003 should have seen Watford play Coventry City on the opening day of the new season. However the game was postponed after the club learned that our new loanee Jimmy Davis had tragically died in an accident on the M40 motorway.
Jimmy signed professionally for Manchester United in 1999 having been a trainee there. He was loaned out to Royal Antwerp in 2001, Swindon Town in 2002 and joined Watford on a season long loan in July 2003. He appeared 5 times for the Hornets in friendlies, scoring in a 4-2 win on his Watford debut at Finnish side JJK Jyvaskyla and also in a 3-0 victory at Aldershot Town. His final appearance came in a 2-1 win over QPR at Loftus Road when he was substituted after suffering a groin injury.
This injury meant he was not part of the matchday squad for our opening game. The evening before he had dinner with his friend Danny Webber before deciding to travel home to Manchester for a night out. He was driving back to Watford in the early hours of Saturday morning when his car hit a truck. He died at the scene of the accident. At the inquest into his death it was revealed he was more than twice over the legal drink-drive limit.
Watford announced that the game against Coventry had been postponed ‘due to tragic circumstances beyond their control’ then confirmed shortly before the scheduled kick off time that Jimmy had died.
All Jimmy’s former clubs paid tribute to him in the days after his death. Manchester United also remembered him following their 2004 FA Cup Final win against Millwall when all their players changed into shirts bearing Davis’ name and squad number for the trophy presentation.
This article remembering Jimmy appeared in the programme when Manchester United played Watford on 31 Jan 2006.
This article appeared just after the 10th anniversary of Jimmy’s death in the programme on the 10th August 2013- Championship, Watford 6 AFC Bournemouth 1