Foxes A to Z, Mich d’Avray, South African with special debut v. Liverpool at Anfield

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Mich d’Avray joined Leicester City on loan from Ipswich Town, and made his debut at Anfield back in February 1987, in a hard fought battle, Leicester City scoring three goals at Anfield, defeat 4-3, d’Avray partnered Alan Smith up, Smith scored two.

A tall striker of massive but largely unrealised scoring potential by the time he arrived for his brief loan spell with Leicester City, Mich had emerged from the shadow of Paul Mariner at Ipswich, yet never convincingly assumed the latter’s goal mantle. He had won two England U.21 caps despite finding himself a regular occupant od the Portman Road sub bench, and while with Leicester City appeared either ill-briefed as to how top play alongside Alan Smith, or simply unable to adapt to such a twin spearhead role.

He subsequently reverted to a deeper lying position at Portman Road, where he took a testimonial before being freed to pick up his career in Holland, unfortunately in a relegation bound NEC Nijmegen side.

After his time in European football, the former pupil of Bobby Robson, made a good career in coaching. He moved back to South Africa, where he to date has had several roles as head coach and assisting at a number of clubs.

Two of his early coaching opportunities came as he were in charge of both the South Africa U.21 team and the Olympic side, as far back as 1994. His first job was as a player/coach with Moroka Swallows.

d’Avray moved on to other South African clubs such as Cape Town Spurs, back in international duty coaching the SA U.23 side for four years. A new change came in 2001 when Mitch took the chance and moved to Australia, taking charge of Perth Glory.

His time at Perth Glory was a very successful one, winning the National Soccer League finals, both in 2003 and 2004. After five years in Australia he returned to South Africa to take charge of Bloemfountein Celtic. A job he held for a year or so, struggling to keep the club floating on the brink of relegation. He moved from head coach to a role “upstairs” and remained at the club for a while.

He has also been in other clubs, one was Ajax Cape Town, the subsidiary of the more famous Dutch champions. He is a traveller of the World of football at many continents and spreading his knowledge based on legacies of former greats.

To make his Leicester City debut at Anfield might have been a highlight for Mich d’Avray who just played three league games. Despite his short stay at Leicester, he had eleven good years with Ipswich Town, where he scored 38 goals in 211 league games.

A fun fact is that fellow South African born Craig Johnston, was the one scoring the last Leicester City goal in that clash at Anfield, an own goal. Johnston as Mich d’Avray, a former England U.21 international with two caps.

If you like to read more about South African soccer and Mich d’Avray, why not follow the website Kick-Off.

FACTFILE: 

  • Full Name: Jean Michel d’Avray
  • Position: Forward
  • Date of Birth: 19.02.1962
  • Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Nation: England
    • U.21 Caps: 2, Debut: 1984 v. Italy
  • Major League Career:
    • 1979-90, Ipswich Town (211/38)
    • 1987, Leicester City (3/0)
    • 1991-92, NEC Nijmegen (28/2)

Links: Pinterest, Wikipedia

Foxes A to Z, Peter Rodrigues, FA Cup finals, win and defeat, Man City & Man Utd

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At his peak the undisputed master of the sliding tackle, Peter already an established Welsh international right-back, with additional experience in Cardiff’s initial Cup Winners’ forays, wehn he became a New Year’s Eve signing for City at the new record fee of £42 500.

Thereafter his pace, overlapping inclinations and that trademark method of dispossession brought a new dimension to received notions of Filbert Street full-back play, and his City career would surely have stretched much further had it not been for the exciting emerge of Steve Whitworth.

Only one sad incident, a missed close range goal chance in the 1969 FA Cup Final remotely shadowed Peter’s stay at Leicester, but he firmly obliterated that particular Wembley memory when, after being freed by the Owls and having won the last of his 40 caps, he skippered underdogs Southampton to FA Cup victory over Manchester United in 1976.

Peter has subsequently busted himself as the landlord of pubs in Hampshire and Carmarthen, and with coaching such local outfits as Telephone Sports, Braishfield, Romsey Town and Blackfield & Langley, as well as holidaying schoolkids at Tenby Soccer Schools.

FACTFILE: 

  • Full Name: Peter Joseph Rodrigues
  • Position: Defender
  • Date of Birth: 21.01.1944
  • Birthplace: Cardiff
  • Nation: Wales
    • Full Caps: 40, Debut: 1965 v. N Ireland
    • U.23 Caps: 5, Debut: 1964 v. Scotland
  • Major League Career:
    • 1961-75, Cardiff City (85/2)
    • 1965-70, Leicester City (140/6)
    • 1970-75, Sheffield Wednesday (162/2)
    • 1975-77, Southampton (55/3)

Links: Pinterest, Wikipedia

David Nish

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A teenage prodigy who won numerous England youth honors and was once chosen as first team substitute by City while still at school. David exhibited amazing versatility over his first few seasons in City’s senior squad, appearing as a creative midfielder and a defensive wing-half before settling as an attacking left-back.

By this time hist natural ease and cool authority had made him ideal material for the team captaincy, and when City got to Wembley in 1969, David became the youngest ever Cup Final skipper at 21. Rarely missing a game and amassing ten England Under 23 caps and sevearl Football League honors in recognition of his elegant effectiveness, he led City back to the top flight in 1971 and looked set for a lenghty Leicester career when reigning Champions Derby came in with a British record fee of £225 000 to take him to Baseball Ground.

Five England caps and a League Championship medal (1974-75) deservedly came David’s way, but he subsquently suffered a series of knee injury problems and left for the less demanding sphere of NASL football. When he left he was slipping from his own high standards of performance.

A testimonial game between current Rams and their Championship winning predecessors in December 1979 was Derby’s fitting adieu to him, but he eventually rejoined former team-mates Bruce Rioch and Colin Todd on the coaching staff at Middlesbrough in July 1988. David then returned to Filbert Street in July 1991, twenty five years after his initially professional signing, as Youth Development Officer and additionally assumed coaching responsibility for the youth team during 1994-95.

David Nish subsequently saw himself as caretaker manager for the first team in the interim between Mark McGhee leaving and the appointment of Martin O’Neill. He was in charge for two league games together with Chris Turner, Garry Parker and Steve Walsh.

David stayed loyal to Leicester and work in the academy during the years of Martin O’Neill, but eventually left his post in 2002 joining John Gregory at Derby County. After his time in the Derby academy he has worked as a postman.

FACTFILE

  • Full Name: David John Nish
  • Position: Defender
  • Date of Birth: 26.09.1947
  • Birthplace: Burton upon Trent
  • Nation: England
    • Full Caps: 5, Debut: 1973 v. N Ireland
    • U.23 Caps: 10, Debut: 1969 v. Portugal
  • Major League Career:
    • 1966-72, Leicester City (336/15)
    • 1972-79, Derby County (188/10)

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