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Full name Charles Percy Davis
Born May 24, 1915, Brackley, Northamptonshire
Died July 4, 2001, Leicester (aged 86 years 41 days)
Major teams Northamptonshire
Also known as Horsey, Button, Sparrow
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium
Fielding position Wicketkeeper
Charles Percy Davis was a Northamptonshire cricketer from the peak of his crimson cap - always the first item of clothing he donned in the dressing-room - to the sprigs of his locally made boots. Born in Brackley, in the deep south of the county, he scored 6,363 runs at an average of 22.64 in 169 first-team appearances between 1935 and 1952. His 10 centuries included a career-best 237 against Somerset at Northampton in 1947.
An engaging little man, 'Sparrow' (alternatively 'Horsey' or'Button') Davis excelled as a cutter and hooker, playing many brave innings for a side that grew used to defeat during the 1930s. His passing leaves Dennis Brookes as the only survivor of the Northamptonshire XI victorious over Leicestershire on Whit Monday 1939, the club's first County Championship win for four years. Paying tribute to his old colleague, Brookes said: 'I had a lot of time for Percy He was a great character and a great man to have around.'
Davis drifted out of favour at Wantage Road with the arrival of Freddie Brown in 1949, but found a new niche as a coach, with Northamptonshire, Dale College in South Africa and, from 1967, Harrow School. He managed the county's colts for a number of years and occasionally infuriated opposing captains by using 14 or 15 players in a match.
Davis, whose younger brother Eddie also appeared for the county, admitted to being 'a bit of a sulker' in his playing days. 'When he was in a bad trot, Percy was always threatening to end it all,' recalls Brookes. 'Once at Horsham he was out for a duck, and we saw his coat on the river bank. Somebody said "he's done it at last!" - and then Percy's head poked out from behind a bush!'
He remained a popular guest at former players' reunions, with a story for every occasion, until shortly before his death.