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Harold Davis. HERO LEGEND.

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posted on 26/6/18

From The Scotsman Nov 2006
HE FOUGHT in a forgotten war and remains a relatively unhonoured son of Rangers. It's clear Harold Davis does not crave recognition. Over 30 years ago he took the decision to move with his wife Vi and son Alan to Gairloch, the sort of place where winning four championship medals for an Ibrox club operating at a gearing far above their present level counts for far less than being able to cast a line into the icy depths of Loch Maree. One might assume that this hankering for a peaceful life evolved out in Korea, as mortar shells slammed down around him. But this is before the 73-year-old Davis reveals a lifetime's dedication to fishing, established when guddling trout as a boy. He might have joined Burnley as a teenager, but wanted to remain closer to his Perthshire home, and the river Tay. How he came to be fighting in a war on the other side of the world requires further knowledge of the man, and the pledge he made to himself when signing up for national service with the Black Watch in 1951. Like most up-held promises, this one had ramifications. His included injuries so severe that even after battling back to fitness as a professional footballer his disability pension remained valid. He truly was the iron man of Ibrox, one whose tale makes a mockery of those who feel no shame in kissing the famous badge today. The reputation he earned in his playing days stands good to this day. Davis survived a car crash eight years ago which left this seemingly indestructible war veteran with a broken neck. As we sat and watched Hibs against Hearts on television in his isolated Wester Ross home on Wednesday it was difficult not to blush on behalf of the present day Rangers players as the scoreline flashes from Ibrox appeared across the screen. How Paul Le Guen's side could have done with such men of substance as Davis and Bobby Shearer, whose funeral it was yesterday. Few have fought for the Rangers jersey the way Davis did, and during his eight-year stay he overcame the odds to win four league titles, two League Cups and a Scottish Cup medal at Ibrox. But it was his experience in Korea which framed his life, and which this weekend is brought into sharp focus. At the going down of the sun across the bay of Gairloch, and again in the morning, Davis will remember fellow casualties of the Korean War, even if too few others will. Having already begun to establish himself as a first-team player with the great East Fife side of the late Forties, Davis was offered several ways of avoiding active service in a war that had come out of nowhere. He might have taken a parachute course, or become a PE instructor. "They were keen on footballers, with the British Army team and all that kind of stuff," he recalls. "I had every opportunity to skip it. But I didn't like the backdoor stuff. I refused it. I said if there were boys going out then I am going out too." He claims now that he wouldn't have missed the experience for the world, but just wishes he had kept his head down on one fateful occasion. That might not have mattered in actual fact. The high-calibre machine gun fire which erupted out of an enemies' barrel sliced away part of his instep and tore into his abdomen. His head, thankfully, remained intact. Before drifting out of consciousness completely Corporal Davis recalls the 'bubble' Bell H-13 helicopter later made famous in the television series M.A.S.H. lifting him away from just behind the front line. He estimates it was ten days before he came round again, in a hospital in Japan. Later a fraught journey by ambulance plane to Britain delivered him into the hands of a Colonel Hunt, the surgeon who sought to make him at least function again. The brief he was following said nothing about professional football. Indeed, later, when Davis told him what he did, Hunt's reply was that he'd better start looking for another job. The surgeon also made a joke, along the unsavoury lines of Davis perhaps being able to claim an advantage over his opponents; when his colostomy bag burst as he was running up the wing then pursuers would be left floundering in its spilled contents.


Harold played 168 times for Rangers but his life was about far more than that.

posted on 26/6/18

Very sad news. RIP.

Incidentally Harold played 261 competitive games for Rangers.

posted on 26/6/18

Yes correct ...261

posted on 26/6/18

not familair with him but sounds like he lived an eventful life duke and certainly one he and his family could be proud of

posted on 26/6/18

That IS a role model

I had heard his name but knew nothing about him.

RIP Harold

posted on 26/6/18

Just read his book last week,hard as nails and,was not to fond of jim baxter whom he thought was a,slacker who got off with all sorts and,wasn't ling in letting slim jim know. R.i.p big man.

posted on 26/6/18

He acted as the protection for Baxter before Greig arrived.

I need to get the book

posted on 26/6/18

Duke...absolutely correct Harold was Baxter's minder but the big man had more than brawn . I've posted before about some of the players who are called "legends" but this man was truly a LEGEND. You always felt safe when he played.
85 years young..God bless him and may he rest in peace.

posted on 26/6/18

Sure he said he fell out with jim a,few times duke, said he came into training any time he pleased with drink on his breath, thought Baxter was throwing his talent away

posted on 26/6/18

He was right !!

posted on 26/6/18

comment by puyolsnohadahaircut (U6410)
posted 30 minutes ago
Sure he said he fell out with jim a,few times duke, said he came into training any time he pleased with drink on his breath, thought Baxter was throwing his talent away
----------------------------------------------------------------------
He probably had a point
Life style and a leg break took Baxters talent early.

Harold was a different type everything he did on and off the pitch was for everyone else.
A selfless hero.

posted on 26/6/18

comment by The Duke (U10059)
posted 3 minutes ago
comment by puyolsnohadahaircut (U6410)
posted 30 minutes ago
Sure he said he fell out with jim a,few times duke, said he came into training any time he pleased with drink on his breath, thought Baxter was throwing his talent away
----------------------------------------------------------------------
He probably had a point
Life style and a leg break took Baxters talent early.

Harold was a different type everything he did on and off the pitch was for everyone else.
A selfless hero.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Sad when anyone dies but he had an innings he played for Rangers and he was a war hero
All in all a better legacy than Rolf

posted on 26/6/18



RIP.

Never heard of the lad [ not a Curlyism btw ].

But I have an unending respect and reverence for him and his like.


posted on 26/6/18

Thought that might have been your era Quinny.

posted on 26/6/18

comment by The Duke (U10059)
posted 14 minutes ago
Thought that might have been your era Quinny.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
He’s always looked down his nose at youngsters

posted on 26/6/18

<Thought that might have been your era Quinny.>

Right era wrang club Duke.

Seriously I'm Rain Man for that sort of stuff but this fella's a blank.

Googled him there - he's my kinda footballer.


posted on 26/6/18

posted on 26/6/18

<He’s always looked down his nose at youngsters>



Says the cant who stole a OAP bus pass aff sumbdy 10 year younger.





posted on 26/6/18

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