IT’S 10 years to the day since Kevin Davies pulled on an England shirt.

Bolton had not had two players in the Three Lions camp since the late fifties but that was the state of play in Fabio Capello’s squad as experienced striker Davies joined team-mate Gary Cahill to prepare for a Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro.

Folk in these parts had long called for the former Blackburn Rovers and Southampton man to be given his opportunity after proving himself for several years in the Premier League as one of the toughest target men around.

He had gone close before and had actually been in the thoughts of Glenn Hoddle for the 1998 World Cup after bursting on to the top-flight scene with Southampton. It proved a fleeting opportunity for the striker – then impressing for England’s Under-21s – which was cut short after an ankle injury sustained against Manchester United.

After getting his career back on track under Sam Allardyce at Bolton in his mid-twenties Davies became a cult hero at the Reebok but looked destined to miss out on his chance to shine on the biggest stage.

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That was until Capello’s assistant Franco Baldini, who had already been checking on Cahill’s progress in Owen Coyle’s bright and progressive side of the day, recommended that he be given an opportunity.

And so on October 12, 2010, The Bolton News was at Wembley to see Davies join such luminaries as Nat Lofthouse, Ray Westwood, Tommy Banks and Eddie Hopkinson in winning his first – and only – cap aged 33 and 199 days.

In doing so he became the oldest debutant since Arsenal’s Leslie Compton in 1912 and the first over-30 to make his England bow since Chris Powell did so in 2001.

Davies came on in the second half of the game as a replacement for Peter Crouch, the man who had arguably kept him out of international contention for so long.

His 21 minutes on the pitch included a half-chance and a booking but England laboured to a 0-0 draw, thanks largely to an inspired display from Mladen Bozovic in the visitors’ goal.

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It proved his only appearance in an England shirt, as Capello went with a youthful squad in the following friendly fixture against France. The Italian noted his “respect” for Davies but chose Cardiff City’s Jay Boothroyd and Newcastle’s Andy Carroll in his place.

For Davies the slight hurt at the time but he has since found peace with the fact he joined an exclusive group.

“I didn’t feel out of place, that was the main thing for me,” he told the FA in 2015. “I felt like I belonged there, which was great.

“I’d played for some great clubs and great players but never quite got to the very top, so to be around people like Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney, training, sitting down and socialising, it was a great few days for me and I’m very proud, obviously.

Asked what he recalled of the evening, he added: “I remember getting told to warm up, and then that little high five with Crouchie, up there somewhere,” he said. “It was a bit of a blur but I remember saying to Wayne (Rooney) ‘come on, let’s get going a bit.’ “And for one moment I felt like I was one of the best 10-11 players in England, which meant a lot to me.”

The Bolton News:

The Bolton News: