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Home: All Other Football Interests: Obituaries and Remembrances:
Dougie Devlin (Wolves, Walsall, Alvechurch)


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Aug 4, 2017, 11:11 AM

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Location: birmingham
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Dougie Devlin (Wolves, Walsall, Alvechurch) Can't Post or Reply Privately

Devlin born in Glasgow passed away recently aged 64.
He started his career at Wolves and despite captaining the youth team never made any appearance's for the first team.
After being released he signed for Walsall and made several league appearance's during the 1972/73 season.
Later he played for Alvechurch and several non league clubs in the West Midlands.

(This post was edited by John Treleven on Aug 4, 2017, 1:27 PM)

John Treleven
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Aug 4, 2017, 1:36 PM

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Re: [hotchkiss] Dougie Devlin (Wolves, Walsall, Alvechurch) [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Douglas "Dougie" Paul Keith Devlin, died Tuesday 13th June 2017, aged 64

Wolves Heroes (15th February 2017)

Wolves had in Doug Devlin a young right half good enough to keep Graeme Souness out of a Scotland no 4 shirt.

I played for Glasgow Boys against Edinburgh Boys, who had Souness in their side,
I don’t think he was too pleased when I got the nod for the Scotland Schoolboys side to play against Northern Ireland.

Doug was born 17th March, 1953 in Maryhill, Glasgow, close by Partick Thistle’s ground, although he was a Celtic fan as a lad.
I went to St. Augustine’s School in Milton and became only their second pupil ever to play for the national boys team.

When I played in that international in Ireland,
a Wolves scout saw me and soon we had
Joe Gardiner, the chief scout, knocking on the door.
Celtic wanted me but I had enjoyed watching Wolves on television
with the likes of Mike Bailey, David Wagstaffe, Derek Dougan and Peter Knowles,
so despite being a Celtic supporter, I went to Molineux.

Young Devlin arrived as an apprentice and roared with laughter when my first question was:
“So whose boots did you clean?”
It was nearly 50 years ago, Bernard Shaw and I think Derek Parkin.
What I do know is that you could get pretty intoxicated with the fumes
from the polish and the dubbin in that tiny boot room.

Doug lodged alongside the South African centre forward Mickey Collins
with ‘Ma’ Perkins on the Cannock Road at the back of New Cross Hospital.
He counted Alan Sunderland, Barry Powell and Steve Daley among his pals.

We lost in the semi-finals of the F.A. Youth Cup to the eventual winners, Arsenal, in 1970-1971
and had a great youth team that year.
We had a young coach called Gordon Eddlestone who was learning his trade
and I guess it was fortunate for him that he inherited such a good young team.
Geoff Palmer and Peter Eastoe were others in the side.

There was no cossetted grooming of the type the modern developing player might receive in the academy system.
In Devlin’s day, it was third and fourth team football
in the West Midlands League and the Midland Combination.

That was a baptism of fire, for sure, with all these ex-pros, I well remember my first ‘A’ team game, against Darlaston.
That pitch wasn’t on a slope – it was on a hill!
It was truly a game of two halves depending on which way you were kicking.
You didn’t half wake up quick playing in those leagues.
I did get into the Central League side but not very often.

I asked whether he sensed the merest sniff of a first team chance.
No way. There were so many excellent midfield players at Molineux: Bailey, Knowles, Danny Hegan, Mike O’Grady, Jimmy McCalliog,
not to mention Paul Walker and Les Wilson.
It was great to play five a side with those guys up above the old social club on Waterloo Road.
Frank Munro and Hegan were brilliant in those sessions,
on a Monday morning, Sammy Chung had them wrapped in bin liners to sweat off their weekend excesses!

I remember one day when I was kicking Peter Knowles. Sammy sidled up to me and said: Leave off Knowles, would you?
We need him in the team on Saturday.
I soon found myself playing in the same five a side line up as Knowles.

Devlin was still an apprentice at the time,
signing professional forms in June 1971.
His prowess as a competitive midfielder who could read a pass (but I was too slow) attracted the Scottish scouts again.

I played for my country from 14 to 18 –
for the under 15s, under 18 schoolboys (against John Richards England at Hampden – we won 1-0),
under 18 amateurs and, when I was at Wolves, under 18 professionals. I captained that Scotland youth team,
which included Willie Donachie, Joe Jordan, John Robertson, Alfie Conn and Graeme Souness.

Devlin loved his time at Wolves. I met some really good guys, the game is a lot faster these days,
with my pace, I would not have kept up.
But can you imagine playing now on the ploughed fields that the likes of Waggy had to work on?
Places like The Victoria Ground at Stoke and the Baseball Ground at Derby.

The competition at Wolves was intense
and Devlin knew he was not going to make the first team.
Bill McGarry released him on a free transfer in the summer of 1972.

There was a sniff about Cardiff being interested but Walsall, were obviously more familiar with me and I signed for them.
I went on as substitute against Charlton in the first game of the season
but had quite the full debut, at Swansea, when I played in the no 4 shirt.
The manager, that good old Geordie Bill Moore, told me to let Gil Reece know he was in a game.
You could be much more physical in those days and I certainly let him know I was around.
After one tackle, he nutted me and I kicked him back.
The referee didn’t see what Gil did but did see me retaliate and I was sent off.
Timing is everything!

There were some decent players at Fellows Park.
Nick Atthey should have played in Division One.
There were Stan Jones, Stan Bennett, Bob Wesson as well.

Doug played 18 Division Three games for the Saddlers, including three as a substitute,
and added three appearances in the cups.
His form was enough to impress his new Saddlers manager,
the ex-West Ham, Spurs and Swindon player John Smith,
and he later took him and Jimmy Dainty in July, 1973
to play in the League of Ireland for Dundalk.

I loved my two years there, then I played for Raith Rovers before going part-time with Telford under Geoff Hurst.
It was on to Tamworth, Alvechurch and Rushall Olympic after that.

The time at Alvechurch was very successful.
We won the Southern League in 1980-81
and the club’s name appeared on the shield alongside Tottenham, Fulham and Queen's Park Rangers.
Our centre-forward was Alan Smith, who went on to Leicester, Arsenal and England.
For over 30 years, Doug Devlin has worked in publishing and exhibitions.
He is one of the owners of D.F.A. Media and loves it.
I loved playing football and having the opportunity to work with top class professionals,
but then I was blessed to find another career that I enjoy immensely.
People ask me when I am going to retire.
I always say how can I?
There are five women in my life - my wife, Tricia, who I met when I worked with the Birmingham Post and Mail 30 years ago,
three daughters and even the dog is female!

Drives and Controls (14th June 2017)

Doug Devlin, Drives & Controls advertising sales director for more than 30 years,
has passed away unexpectedly after a short illness that he contracted while he was on holiday.
Doug, who had worked on the magazine since the mid 1980s, initially as the magazine’s sales representative for the Midlands,
was a larger than life character who made an immediate impression on anyone who met him.

Doug’s passion for Drives & Controls was boundless.
He was a strong believer in the value of face to face contacts,
racking up tens of thousands of miles every year
as he criss-crossed the U.K. to visit his customers,
many of whom were also his friends.
Doug was also the driving force behind the Drives & Controls Show
which has gone from strength to strength in recent years, propelled by his passion and enthusiasm.

Doug worked for many years for Drives & Controls
before becoming one of the three directors of D.F.A. Media which acquired the magazine in 2004.

(This post was edited by John Treleven on Aug 5, 2017, 7:08 AM)


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