For years Ben Davies’ grandmother had a photo of a Boston United player on her wall. Now she has two.
The former Derby County, Sheffield United and Portsmouth full back made his Pilgrims debut against Spennymoor Town on Saturday, giving additional meaning to an iconic picture of him battling against Paul Gascoigne at York Street.
“I played two or three times here. I played here as a young kid,” Davies told The Standard. “I remember playing against Gazza. My nan’s got a picture on the wall of me playing against Gazza here.
“The place was absolutely bouncing.”
Tomorrow (Thursday) will be exactly 14 years since that picture was taken, Gascoigne’s Football League debut with United, marked by a 3-1 home win against Davies’ Chester City side.
But these days the 37-year-old is using the home dressing room, and would love to play his part in helping the Pilgrims to take a step closer to a Football League return.
“It’ll be nice to get it back bouncing like that. The atmosphere can be great down here,” continued Davies, who turned down the chance to stay in the pro game to buy into Craig Elliott’s vision.
“Even until (Friday) there were two offers for me to stay in the Football League.
“I wanted to stay in the Football League but I’d been speaking to Craig for 15 weeks, since the day I left Grimsby.
“His hunger and determination to bring success, I thought, was right for me and my family.”
“I didn’t see it as dropping down this far, I saw it as dropping down to come back up as he’s desperate to do well here.”
At 37, Davies is the oldest member of Elliott’s squad, the player only three years younger than his manager.
But the ex-Shrewsbury Town and Kidderminster Harriers man, who is just completing his UEFA A coaching badge, knows he has plenty more to offer.
“At 37 people will say you’re getting on, but you work your whole career to stay in good nick so you’re ready to carry on playing.
“I love the game. It’s what I’ve done since leaving school and I’ve worked hard all my career and looked after myself to get to this stage.
“It’s something I don’t want to let go of and I’ve got another year or two in me, easily.”