Current Bangor City manager Peter Davenport remembers setting up Lineker’s first England goal.
Current Bangor City manager Peter Davenport remembers setting up Lineker’s first England goal – and getting the hairdryer treatment from Cloughie and Fergie.
How many strikers can boast being top goalscorer for Brian Clough and Alex Ferguson in consecutive seasons?
That’s what happened to Peter Davenport in the 1980s with Nottingham Forest and Manchester United. The 43-year-old now manages Bangor in the League of Wales and has special reason for remembering his only England appearance.
Then - Why did you only win one England cap?
I came on as sub against the Republic of Ireland in 1985 and have the claim to fame of setting up Gary Lineker’s first goal for England.
I had been playing well for some time and the future looked rosy, I had even been measured for my suit to go on the summer tour to Mexico, a trial run for the World Cup the next year.
Then, I tore my hamstring at Ipswich the week after I played for England. Brian Clough rang up the England manager Bobby Robson to say I wouldn’t be fit for the tour. By the time I got back other players like Peter Beardsley were emerging.
Now - Do you try to copy Clough or Ferguson in your management style?
I’m in my third season at Bangor in the League of Wales. I try to think what Brian Clough would do in certain situations, but put it across in my own way because there is no chance of copying Clough or Ferguson directly.
My philosophy is to make sure that whatever you say at half-time, it improves the performance in the second half. That usually means being constructive rather than shouting for the sake of it.
Then - What do you remember of your England appearance?
I was sitting about five or six rows back at Wembley and didn’t have a good view of the game at all.
Eventually I started warming up and Mark Hateley got injured. Bobby Robson turned to Don Howe and said ‘we better send on Devonshire (a midfield player)’. Don said to him ‘Don’t you mean Davenport!’
I’ve got a video of the game and you can clearly lipread Bobby getting my name wrong!
Now - You and Clayton Blackmore have a combined age of 83, it must be funny for the young lads in your side...
Well, I’m still registered as a player but at 43 I only play in emergencies. I’ve only had to play once this season.
I came on as sub at Haverford West and we lost 1-0 but that’s because we had so many injuries.
Clayton is different. He’s only just turned 40 and he is in the side on merit.
Then - Was it hard at Forest being compared to the European Cup-winning side?
Not at all. We knew about the recent history but we had a young, vibrant side and were very good in our own right.
We reached the UEFA Cup semi-finals and there are serious doubts about how we were knocked out by Anderlecht.
We finished third in the League in 1984 so we didn’t feel any pressure.
Now - You can boast European experience as a manager...
We’ve got into the Intertoto Cup at Bangor and we hope to qualify again this season.
We actually beat Sartid 1-0 in 2002 and they had a couple of Yugoslavian internationals so it was a fantastic result.
The second leg was 40 miles east of Belgrade, we lost 2-0 but it was a great trip.
Then - People regarded you as a flop at Man United after moving from Forest...
I don’t agree with them at all. I scored 16 goals in my first full season at Old Trafford and I felt I played just as well for them as I did for Forest.
If you look at stars like Eric Cantona later on, he didn’t score any more than that.
Ron Atkinson signed me but he was sacked after a few months and Alex Ferguson came in and I had two years under him.
We finished second in the League in 1987/88 but still got slated because Liverpool and Everton 40 miles down the road were winning everything in sight. The United fans were hungry for success.
Then - How do you compare Clough and Ferguson?
For me personally, I always found Clough to be the better manager. He was the original hairdryer by the way. When Ferguson arrived, he needed a bigger hairdryer because of all the big hairdos about!
Ferguson did his best to shape his team when he arrived and probably found one or two players there who were past their best. But it took him six seasons to win the championship.
Now - Do you want to be a Football League manager?
I had the manager’s job briefly at Macclesfield and would love another crack at some point.
I’ve been given invaluable experience at Bangor, both in the Welsh League and in Europe. I have learned so much, I would like to test it out at some stage in the Second or Third Division.
At Bangor, management is so much more than just picking the team for a Saturday.