Having grown up on a council estate in Sheffield, Bolton skipper – and new England international - Kevin Davies is well aware of the financial hardships that people are facing in the current climate.
With that in mind he is keen to get his charity KiDs up and running in the Bolton area as soon as possible and already has some events in mind.
“I come from a modest family, living on a council estate and I know how difficult it can be and I’m focused on getting the charity up and running,” adds Kevin, who has long been committed to Community work in the North West.
“I’ve got a few things lined up and I’m assembling a committee at the moment. I’ve got some great friends I’ve met in the Bolton area and people have shown a big interest in it.
“I’ve spoken to the chairman and he’s willing to help by lending me a room to use for dinners, functions or auctions. We’re trying to think of some original things as well.
“We’ve got a few ideas, we need to get it up and running but we’ve got a golf day in mind to start. We’re also going to run a competition with the local schools and colleges to design a logo for it and we want to involve the local community in it.”
With many events already in the pipeline, Davies is looking to get teammates and other players and celebrities on board in order to make KiDs of Bolton a success.
“I’ve got a few ideas and I don’t think any of the lads are aware of what I’m trying to do but I will be trying to call in a few favours. They’re a good set of lads and I’m sure they would be willing to help out,” he continues.
“We’ve got some fun ideas that hopefully can involve them, the people that watch us play and the people around Bolton. I’ve got a few people I know like Vernon Kay and Peter Kay and hopefully they can help out too.
“I’m really looking forward to it. Once it’s up and registered hopefully we can really go forward with it.”
Despite putting a lot of time into getting KiDs of Bolton ready, Davies is also an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust and has recently become involved with TalentNation - a social networking site for young sportspeople across the country.
The site allows youngsters to upload videos and photos showing their sporting achievements and encourages participation in sport.
“TalentNation is a great idea. It’s kind of like a sportsbook as opposed to Facebook and I’ve been involved with it over the last few months,” explains Davies.
“I’ve watched the site develop and I think it’s a great idea for people who do all sorts of sports. It’s not just football - there are people who do karate, skateboarding, table tennis or anything and they can go on there and meet people who are into the same thing.
“They can chat about things and show what they’ve achieved. It’s a great idea, the concept is coming on quite quickly and I enjoy being involved.”
Davies is dedicated to his community work, but is equally as passionate about helping his fellow professionals. He has also become involved with an organisation called LIFT-Sport, which gives financial advice to professional sportsmen and women.
With so much money in sport, and particularly football, Davies believes it is important that young players learn about the financial pitfalls that could lie ahead.
“I’ve had access to a lot of accounts and seen what a lot of players are paying in commissions and they don’t really know what they’re paying,” he explains. “We’re trying to recruit young players. They work hard for a living and they want to keep as much money in their pockets as they can.
“We’re hoping to go round the academies and even if it’s showing them how to read a payslip, we’re just trying to help and make sure the sharks stay away from them because there are a lot of people out there willing to take money off players.”
With so much work off the pitch and playing each week in the hardest league in the world, it is surprising Davies finds any time to relax. The father-of-four also has a young family to look after and admits it is difficult to find the time to do a lot of other activities.
“I have four children to look after and when you get to my age you train as hard as you can and you want to look after yourself and get as much rest as you can so you’re ready for match days,” he says.
“I like to get a game of golf in if I can. I play a bit of squash every now and again. I don’t really get to the cinema as much as I would like. I like to watch some of the old films. When I’m flicking through TV at night I will tend to watch a film but I like some of the old films from when I was growing up.”
As he comes towards the final part of his career, Davies’ thoughts have inevitably turned to life once he hangs up his boots. Having already started his coaching badges, he revealed management is something that could appeal to him.
“I’ve still got this season and next season on my contract and I’m feeling as fit as ever. I’m as fully focused on the next two seasons as ever but am also relishing the opportunity to get stuck in with these other interests,” Davies explains.
“Somewhere along the line I’d like to give management a shot but I know it’s a difficult game to be in and can be quite ruthless. By the time I finish playing I want to have as many qualifications as I can and stay in the game hopefully. If it doesn’t work out I’ve got other interests.”
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