Tributes have been paid to former Wales goalkeeper Dai Davies, 72, who passed away today, having been diagnosed with terminal cancer of the pancreas last year.
Former team mate Mickey Thomas Tweeted: “Sad news hearing the passing of Dai Davies my former team mate of Wrexham and Wales. A great character and footballer who will be sadly missed RIP.”
Dai’s former club Swansea City tweeted: “Rest in peace, Dai Davies, Everyone at Swansea City send their deepest condolences to the family and friends of former Swans goalkeeper, Dai Davies, who sadly passed away following his battle with cancer.”
Welsh football programme Sgorio tweeted: “The Sgorio team are deeply saddened to hear the news of Dai Davies’ passing. Dai was a crucial member of the team for many years – an honest and astute pundit, a fantastic mentor and a friend to all members of the production. Our deepest condolences to the whole family.”
Dai represented Wales on 52 occasions over a seven-year period, with his final international appearance coming in 1982. Davies was Wales’ most-capped goalkeeper until his record was surpassed by Neville Southall.
Born in Carmarthenshire, Davies played in the top flight for both Everton and Swansea and famously saved a penalty in a European Cup Winners’ Cup tie at Atletico Madrid having come out of retirement to play for Bangor City.
After his retirement from football, Dai Davies was a part-owner of a Welsh book and craft shop in Mold and became a football commentator for S4C, in both English and Welsh.
A qualified teacher, he often worked as a supply teacher and spent a time in 1990 working in as a PE teacher for Holywell High School. He also owned a natural healing centre in Llangollen, specialising in herbal remedies, remedial massage, muscle work, pilates and reiki.
Dai Davies was also a Druid, having been initiated into the Welsh Gorsedd of Bards (Gorsedd y Beirdd Ynys Prydain) in 1978.
A statement from Davies’ family reads: “It is with great sadness that we announce the death of William David Davies (better known as Dai) today, Wednesday 10 February 2021. He died peacefully at home.
“He was much loved by Judy, Bethan, Gareth, Rhian, Emma, Sally, Kate and his 12 grandchildren. He will live on in the memories we, and many others, hold dear.
Judy, his wife, said: “Dai was a great goalkeeper but also a wonderful human being with a beautiful soul. Ever the gentleman Dai had time for everyone and was hugely respected and much loved by so many.”
“There will be a small private funeral and at a future date a service celebrating Dai’s life.
“In his last few months, the kindness and support he, and us, have received from our friends and the staff at Nightingale House Hospice has been wonderful, and we thank them all.
“As we do the staff who cared for him at both The Maelor Hospital Wrexham and The Royal Hospital in Liverpool.”
Anyone wishing to make a donation in Dai’s memory to Nightingale House Hospice in Wrexham please go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/daidaviesnumberone?utm_source=sms