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“Tommy rang me 16 times”: How an ex-Blue landed at Collingwood


Craig Davis was one of the first four-club players, representing Carlton, North Melbourne, Collingwood and Sydney during the 1970s and 80s.

He started with the Blues all the way back in 1973, kicking off with a bang by playing in the Grand Final in his debut season.

Davis would play 42 games in three seasons with the Blues before his career was momentarily cut short.

The full-forward, and father of ex-Collingwood and Sydney forward Nick, was close to suffering a brain haemorrhage when he received a knock in the 1976 pre-season.

He had previously copped a number of blows in a brawl with Essendon the season prior.

After overcoming the issue which forced him into premature retirement in '76, he returned to the VFL scene with North Melbourne where he would play 10 more games in 1977 and 1978.

But the Kangaroos had a fairly handy forward line with names such as Malcolm Blight, Phil Baker and Brent Crosswell, which would force Davis out at Arden Street.

Next on the agenda was the Magpies who were coached by the late, great Tommy Hafey at the time. Although hesitant at first, Davis would eventually end up at Victoria Park.

“Tommy kept ringing me up,” he told SEN’s Bob and Andy.

“I’m going, ‘I hate Collingwood with a passion’. Sorry Collingwood, you’re my favourite club now!

“I said, ‘My mum won’t talk to me’.

“Tommy rang me 16 times so in the end I went and had a cup of tea with him at his place with Maureen and the rest is history.”

Davis kicked 88 goals in 26 games in his first season with the Pies in 1979, which coincidentally ended in a Grand Final defeat at the hands of the Blues.

He would go on to boot 251 goals in 102 games in the famous black and white stripes before finishing up with the Pies in 1983.

Remarkably, Davis came out of retirement as a 33-year-old in 1988 to play one season with the Swans having served as a development coach and a runner with the club prior.

Overall, Davis returned 360 goals from 163 games over 11 seasons.

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