Only 20 when signed for Tottenham, but Simon Davies had already represented Wales at Youth and under-21, before obtaining a full cap in 2001. His £750,000 move from Peterborough United capped a season which promised much, having gone with his team-mate Matthew Etherington to Manchester United for training under the eyes of Alex Ferguson. However, the treble winning manager did not feel ready to sign the pair and Man. U's loss was Tottenham's gain.
Won plaudits for the Posh, got named in the Division Three team of the 1998-1999 season by his fellow professionals and also won Peterborough's "Player of the Year" award to add to his trophies. Simon was a creative midfielder with an eye for goal, although his return of six goals from 75 appearances for the Third Division side may not reflect his true contribution. A debutant at 17, he played three seasons for Peterborough and broke into the Spurs first team quickly. His excellent distribution rarely wasted a ball and his work rate was second to none. His slight build should not mislead about his ability to get tackles in and track back, as his stamina was one of his assets.
He started his career at Norwich City and followed youth coach Kit Carson to Peterborough. Having two years on his colleague Etherington, Davies was the first to make the breakthrough and he was aiming to emulate his uncle, Ian Walsh (Crystal Palace and Wales), in making the grade in the top division. He played for Wales Under 18 (7 caps) and Under 21 (6 caps) and was to be a regular in the full national side.
Came on at Anfield for his first appearance and nearly set up a goal. A hard working, ball winning and ball playing midfielder, who was be a favourite with White Hart Lane fans, a broken hand picked up playing for Wales Under-21's at the end of the 1999-2000 season saw him miss a fair chunk of pre-season training and he was kept on the bench when the season stated. With a dearth of midfielders at the club, the 2000-2001 season saw him make the breakthrough to first team football. An unnecessary substitution when he had come on as a sub. against Birmingham City in the Worthington Cup defeat hit his confidence, but two goals against Stockport County in the FA Cup and a run in the side to the end of the season saw Simon flower in the hothouse atmosphere of the Premiership.
Following GG's dismissal, Simon developed noticeably under Glenn Hoddle's tuition. Despite being left out of the Worthington Cup final against Blackburn Rovers (a move which might have cost Spurs the game), Davies had been a shining light in the Tottenham midfield and his energy has added a new dimension to the side.
Davies started 2002-03 well with his first goal for Wales in Croatia - a run from the halfway line beating four players - and was instrumental in the early stages for Tottenham that saw them top the table after beating Southampton at home. The season proved one of frustration with an undeserved sending off against Arsenal at Highbury and some poor displays by the team after Christmas that resulted in a 10th pace finish. Rumours of Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea surfaced, but the Welsh midfielder committed his future to Tottenham. Meanwhile, he was instrumental in his country's surge towards the Euro 2004 finals with a good run in the qualifiers and Simon's midfield displays (and one at right back) won him deserved recognition as a fine footballer.
Simon suffered a hip problem at the start of the 2003-04 season and he admitted that he was going through a sticky time at Spurs, enjoying playing for Wales more. This cast some doubt over his position at the club once more, but he seemed to be willing to work his way back into the side.
A player who had a bright future, Simon signed an extension to his contract in 2002 to tie him to Spurs for another five years until 2007. However, after a long standing shin injury was overcome, he then suffered a viral illness that deprived him of energy early in season 2004-05. It took three months to get back to match fitness and was almost back to his former level of performance at the end of the season.
Rumours had circulated that Everton had come close to signing him in the January 2005 transfer window, but in May 2005, he moved to Goodison for £3.5 million (plus £500,000 on appearances) saying that his best years were ahead of him. However, the move was a nightmare and he lasted just over 18 months before moving to Fulham under manager Chris Coleman, who was assembling a number of Welsh players in the side. However, Coleman's removal from the post was followed by Lawrie Sanchez's appointment and Davies had a tough time, before flourishing again under Sanchez's eventual replacement Roy Hodgson. A late 2007-08 season revival kept Fulham in the Premier League.
Simon went on to captain his country in 2008, as the young Welsh team attempted to qualify for the 2010 World Cup finals and in 2010, he played in the Europa League final for Fulham against Atletico Madrid, but unfortunately ended up on the losing side.
A change of management, brought about by Hodgson's departure for Liverpool re-united him with Welsh boss Mark Hughes, but that only lasted a season before another familiar face turned up in the manager's office, in the shape of Martin Jol. Injury hit, he played only a few games under Jol and ironically, just when he came back from injury he was released by the Cottagers on 6th June 2013.