PLANS are being made for a testimonial event in tribute to Ron Davies, arguably Saints' greatest ever centre-forward.

Davies has lost touch with many of his old Saints team-mates.

But he has been tracked down to a mobile residential vehicle in New Mexico where he is working for a construction company.

Now 64, Davies' body has been ravaged by football and he is desperate for a hip replacement operation.

Saints fans have pledged to do what they can to help to help a player who was once described by an envious Sir Matt Busby as "the finest centre-forward in Europe".

Speaking from Albuquerque in the United States, Davies and his wife Chris said they greatly appreciated the concern of Saints fans.

"The fans were always very nice to me," said Davies.

"They don't forget and I would like to thank the fans. Southampton Football Club wouldn't exist without these people.

"It would be fantastic if some sort of match or something could be arranged.

"I would like to be able to retire soon and I would love to enrol in Art School at the University of New Mexico. My hip problem means that I can't continue in construction too much longer."

Chris Davies added: "He really needs a hip transplant otherwise he will be crippled. I would like him to get his hip done, retire and get his social security.

"He gave his all to soccer, but he has got nothing now."

Fans are now hoping to arrange an event.

Supporter James Smith has written to Saints and the Welsh FA while other prominent supporters have pledged to help.

The Welsh FA have said they will help - Welsh team boss John Toshack is a former international colleague of Davies'.

Dave Ford, chairman of the Ted Bates Trust, said his organisation should help out if they can.

"I'm saddened to hear of Ron's situation," said Ford.

"It's definitely something I will ask the committee about. Personally, we should do something. A benefit match or dinner is a fantastic idea."

Full story in today's Daily Echo