CULLYBACKEY’S Steven Davis has spoken of his pride at becoming Northern Ireland’s most capped footballer.
The record-breaking 35-year-old registered his 120th international appearance on Thursday night away to Bosnia-Herzegovina in a Euro 2020 play-off.
Ahead of the match Davis said: “It’s hard to sum up in words what it actually means, it probably wouldn’t do it justice – there’s been a lot of sacrifices made to get to this point.
“I’ve always enjoyed meeting up with the squad and there has been a great bond with the players throughout my time.
“The fans have always been fantastic to me as well so it’s something I’m incredibly proud of.”
In a touching video message shared by Sky Sports man Paul Gilmour, Davis’ father David said: “Hi Steven. Another achievement you’re about to add to your list. The most capped player in Northern Ireland.
And supporting him all the way in his football career has been wife Tracey along with kids Chloe (12), Kaia (8) and Cobi (2) pic.twitter.com/avA8VTeSRO
— Paul Gilmour (@skysportspaulg) October 8, 2020
“It has been lovely watching you playing, and your mummy and I were both been very proud to see you doing well in football.
“What you have achieved on and off the field, you have kept your feet on the ground, and fair play to you.”
There was also a special message from Steven’s young family.
Eight-year-old daughter Kaia said: “Hi daddy, we just wanted to say how proud we are of you becoming the most capped player of Northern Ireland.
“We love being on this amazing journey with you and we love you so much.”
Chloe, 12, added: “Dad, I Love you. You have taught us so much and I am so proud of everything you have achieved. You are an inspiration.”
There was even a special message from two-year-old son Cobi who said: “Well done, daddy. We love you.”
There was also praise from Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, who said: “Very proud of our very own Steven Davis who marked the incredible milestone by leading Northern Ireland to victory this evening”.
— Mid and East Antrim Borough Council (@mea_bc) October 8, 2020
The former caps record holder, goalkeeper Pat Jennings, says he is delighted for Davis.
Earlier, Jennings, who had 119 caps, said: “I’ve texted Steven to congratulate him on the record and wish him well for the big game.
“I’m happy for him – records are there to be broken and I’ve no regrets.
“Steven is a fantastic player and he’s done a great job for Northern Ireland so well done to him.”
Bannside Traditional Unionist Voice councillor Stewart McDonald – a well-known figure with Ahoghill in junior football – earlier said: “I’m delighted that tonight Steve Davis will break the record set by the legendary Pat Jennings when he makes his 120th appearance for Northern Ireland.
“Not only is Steve an incredible servant to his country on the international stage but he is a remarkably humble guy who genuinely strives to give something back to the community.
“You will all know that in normal years I would be encouraging you to buy tickets to the Ahoghill Thistle gala dinner in aid of the Children’s Hospice. Sadly that event cannot take place this year but it is worth noting, giving tonight’s historic milestone, that Steve Davis was always very willing to donate signed shirts for the event.
“Steve Davis has been a loyal servant to Northern Ireland though the highs and the lows. He’s stuck with us and hopefully he can once again see us once again qualify for another major tournament.”