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Slipped Through the Net: Aidan Davison

By: Dan Humphrey
Date: 23/01/2001

In the first of a new series "Slipped Through The Net", Dan Humphrey takes a look at former Grimsby players still plying their trade elsewhere within the game. This week Dan takes a look at Aidan Davison, the Mariner's keeper throughout the Wembley double season of 1997-98.

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Ever get the feeling that some footballers don't really like the game? Well looking at this guy's career record, you could be forgiven for assuming that he has some sort of allergy to first team football!!

Aidan is quite rightly regarded as one of the best 'keepers to have played for Town in recent memory. The tragedy is that after Alan Buckley rescued him from a rather dead end career, most of which had been spent as Keith Branagan's understudy at Bolton, and is Northern Ireland's 4th or 5th choice 'keeper, Sedgefield-born Davison only spent one full season at Blundell Park.

Aidan Davison's Career
ClubWhenApp'sFee
Bradford03/00-9(2)Free
Sheff Utd08/99-03/001(1)Free
Grimsby08/97-08/99104Free
Bradford03/97-05/9710Free
Hull11/96-01/9710Loan
Bolton07/93-03/9747(2)£25,000
Millwall08/91-07/9342Free
Bury11/89-08/910£6,000
Notts Co03/88-11/891Youth

Admittedly it was a great season, with promotion and cup runs (including Wembley (pictured below), Anfield and Elland Road), but Davison decided it was time to leave less than a year later, and was entitled to on a Bosman free transfer.

Aidan Davison at Wembley

A farcical situation ensued. Understandably, manager Alan Buckley was reluctant to play a want-away player. Davison was dropped towards the end of the 1998-99 season and teenagers Steve Croudson and Andy Love tried out for his place. Baptisms of fire? Not really, as Croudson excelled, and was rewarded with a permanent slot in the squad.

And what happened to Davison? Obviously he could not cope with regular first team football, so after an unsuccessful spell at Chelsea, he returned to the reserve team scene, back to Bradford, to once more, become an understudy - this time to Matt Clarke and Gary Walsh.

However, as one door closes.... Buckley moved quickly to sign yet another free transfer 'keeper, in Tranmere's Danny Coyne. And for the third time in recent history, the Mariners keeper was a Buckley freebie find, (Paul Crichton, Davison, Coyne), arguably each one better than the next.

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