Voices Of Football: Barry Davies – English Football’s Renaissance Man


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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8 Responses

  1. Chris O says:

    What I like about Davies is that he allowed his personal opinions to make up a large part of his commentaries, rather than trotting out bland statistics the whole time.

    Watching a re-run of the England v Argentina friendly from 1980 recently on ESPN Classic, Davies spotted Ron Greenwood’s team walking out onto the pitch in their new white, red and blue Admiral kit and happily questioned why it should feature *all* the colours of the Union Jack.

    You may not understand his opinions or agree with them, but you can’t disagree that his commentaries were all the more interesting for his personal ‘human’ approach.

    Excellent article, well written.

  2. Phil of Bath says:

    A wonderful commentator, for all the reasons stated above. The comment I remember most was when Forbes Phillipson-Masters was playing for Chelsea, in an era when double- barrelled names were very uncommon. Barry said something like “and that’s a yellow card for Phillipson-Masters, who sounds as though he ought to know better”.

  3. Roy Ebsary says:

    I always remember him saying, “Goalkeepers get away with murder,” during a 1986 World Cup match when a goalkeeper caught the ball with his foot up to stop a forward going too near him. Needless to say, the goalkeeper wasn’t even booked, so his comment was also a correct prediction.

  4. Dominic Tolan says:

    An excellent article, thanks for posting.

    As stated by all above, a top, top commentator who knew how to say the right thing at the right moment.

  5. Michael Wood says:

    “…the almost sullen recognition that there was no-one in the England team capable of a moment of such genius.”

    Except John Barnes in Brazil. Davies has his charms but I always felt that he tried to create a narrative out of a game even when it did not fit compared to Motson who giving facts and figures allowed the viewer to form the narrative himself.

  6. Mark Baker says:

    A great commentator and a real all-rounder whose finest moment came in the men’s hockey final at the 1988 Olympics after Imran Sherwani scored the third gold-medal winning goal for GB.

    “Where were the Germans? But frankly who cares?” Shame he never got to say that at a World Cup.

  7. Colin says:

    Davies was always an underrated commentator in my opinion. Growing up in the 1980s, I was frequently surprised that he was never selected as the BBC’s FA Cup Final commentator, always playing second fiddle to Motty. Thanks for this article, which perhaps provides some insight into why this was the case.

  8. Kevin says:

    Barry Davies was a very under rated commentator. What I always admired about him was his versatility. He had the ability to commentate on a wide variety of sports in an intelligent manner. This for me always set him apart from the rest.

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