Has Kevin Davies played his last game for Bolton?

After almost 10 years of service, it looks as though the Bolton faithful will say goodbye to their talisman at the end of the season

John Leather
Published 02/05/2013 09:41 by John Leather, read by 630 people.

Players like Kevin Davies aren't too prominent in today's game. A physical dominance and overwhelming aerial presence have been arguably replaced in favour of pace and precision in most front lines.

Despite this, Davies has been a real success story at Bolton, amassing nearly 400 appearances, finding the back of the net 84 times in a spell at the club lasting near on 10 years. 

Admittedly, he's not the most prolific striker the game has ever seen at an average of one goal every four games, although he was joint highest English Premier League scorer in the 2008/2009 season, the same season in which he famously scored against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in the Europa League.

He's been voted Club Player of the Year on more than one occasion, and during his time at the Reebok Stadium has held his own in squads littered with big names playing a part in what many see as Bolton's more successful years. 

Icons such as Spanish duo Fernando Hierro and Ivan Campo, midfield wizard Jay Jay Okocha, France World Cup winner Youri Djorkaeff, European champion Nicolas Anelka and the late great Gary Speed are just a number of players to have played alongside and paid testament to the striker over the years.

The bustling style of play Davies employs has struck fear into the hearts of Premier League defenders for years, and a good number in this years Npower Championship. 

Firm but fair he holds the record of most Premier League fouls but is also victim of being most fouled himself. Leading by example Davies has been club captain since 2009.

Recent times have not been so kind to the Sheffield born frontman however, starting with Davies losing his place at one stage in last season's Premier League. The striker has made 38 appearances scoring 6 goals in League and cup this season, 9 of which came from the substitutes bench. To put that into context it's more than a quarter of his total sub appearances in his Bolton career this campaign. 

This may not come as a huge surprise as once England International Davies is now 36, but on the player's 36th birthday came a story that shocked a high portion of the clubs fans. 

Bolton chairman Phil Gartside revealed on the strikers birthday the club would not be offering him a new contract at the end of the season, his current one to run just a few days short of ten years, ruling out a testimonial.

Kevin Davies has not donned the Wanderers shirt since, his last appearance came just days before, as a late substitute at Portman Road in the 1-0 loss against Ipswich. Davies is also without a goal in 2013, his last coming at Ewood Park in November.

As we approach the final game of the regular Championship season in just two days time, Bolton face Blackpool in what could be the last chance for the player and Bolton fans to say goodbye on the pitch. 

This would mark not only a memorable career but is seen as the end of a legacy and generation of a more successful period, with Jussi Jaaskelinen and Ricardo Gardner the other two remaining players leaving last year.

Bolton manager Dougie Freedman commented on the matter on Tower FM this week," 

"Kevin Davies, like everybody else, I think if he shows the right attitude towards training... he's paid by the club and Ive got that responsibility to pick him if I need him."

 "As long as he trains properly and he wants to be a part of it, fantastic for me."

Without an appearance in almost two months and seemingly out of favour, it would look unlikely, but it would inevitably raise the roof at an expected full house at the Reebok Stadium if he was to make an entrance.

Have we seen the last of Davies in a Bolton shirt or will he get an opportunity to make an emotional final bow?

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