Daniel Devine
Daniel Devine
A. Player

born in Scotland

Daniel Devine was born on Friday, 21st August, 1868, in Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire.

The 5' 7½ (10st 7lbs) defender signed for Thistle on Thursday, 26th July, 1894, having most recently been with Woolwich Arsenal.

Aged 25, he made his first known appearance on Saturday, 11th August, 1894, in a 5-2 win at home to Dundee Wanderers in the SFL Second Division.

There were no known goals for Daniel during his spell with Thistle.

He played his last known game for the club on Saturday, 29th September, 1894, in a 4-4 draw at home to Morton in the SFL Second Division, having appeared for the Thistle on at least 8 occasions.

His club-list included Glasgow Hibernians, Dumbarton Union, Renton, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal, Partick Thistle and Celtic.

Daniel died on Tuesday, 1st June, 1897, in Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire, aged 28.

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Bio Extra

The son of Daniel Devine (Hammerman) and Ann Devine (née Clark). Both of his parents were Irish, and they came across to Scotland and married young. Dad worked in the shipyards which must be what drew them to the Clydeside. At the 1881 census they had seven children; Margaret (16), Daniel (12), Mary (10), Elizabeth (8), Patrick (6), Annie (5) and Nelly (2). The oldest, Margaret, was born in Dundee, the rest of them in Dumbarton.

Reflecting his heritage, Daniel, a right half, played in the Scottish Cup with Glasgow Hibernians in 1889-90. He joined his local team, Dumbarton Union, in 1890-91. The Union were lesser lights of the Dumbartonshire FA, but could hold their own against the likes of Vale of Leven on their day, and any good players were able to rise up if they performed well against any of the bigger sides, especially in the local cup matches. This is exactly what happened for Daniel when the 22-year-old made the switch to Renton in the close season of 1891. Renton had been founder members of the Scottish Football League for 1890-91, but had been left reeling after just 5 games of their inaugural campaign, when they were expelled on the grounds of professionalism. We can imagine, therefore, that Daniel was part of the "rebuild" at Tontine Park. The half-back played in all 22 League matches of Renton's 1891-92 campaign, finishing 6th out of 12, regaining their pride. Perhaps Daniel cast an envious eye over to his hometown's main team though; Dumbarton were champions of Scotland for the second time.

In early 1892, there was talk of Daniel signing for Blackburn Rovers, but this didn't come to pass. A tremendous number of Renton players were southbound in this era and, in mid-October 1892, this was almost comically underlined as three of them - full-back Archie McQuilkie, half-back Daniel Devine and forward Tom Towie - all made their way to Woolwich, where they would play for the Royal Arsenal. With his background as a riveter, perhaps Daniel would also be employed in the associated munitions factory, as many other Arsenal players did? £25 down and £3 per week were the terms, so it was a tempting offer for the Scottish amateurs. It seems, however, that the latter two were not true to their word as reported in the Athletic News of 24th October 1892:

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I am sorry to learn that we are likely to have the Doyle and Brady case played over again, and here, too. Last week I mentioned that three Renton men, McQuilkie, Towie, and Devine, had “signed on” for the Arsenal, but I now learn that the two latter have thought better of their bargain, and have returned home, where they will doubtlessly be received with open arms, I understand however, that both men received a substantial “consideration” on signing, and if such be the case I should strongly advise the Arsenal committee make an example of them (I fancy they mean to do so.) I am not learned in the law, but one who is tells me that they are clearly amenable under the Master and Servants Act. In the county in which I was brought up a servant who had taken what is known as the “fasten penny” was legally bound, and if he took service elsewhere (presumably for a higher wage) he rendered himself liable to imprisonment for breach of contract.

It's thought that Towie returned the money to free himself contractually. Devine, for his part, returned once again and made his debut on 5th November 1892 in a 4-0 win at home to Lincoln City. He made his first-class debut in an FA Cup defeat to Sunderland in January 1893. On 29th April 1893, Royal Arsenal played its final game, against Stoke, and on 3rd May 1893, Woolwich Arsenal FC formally took over Royal Arsenal FC, the public announcement of the new name of the club coming two days later with the issuing of the prospectus of the limited company. Daniel wrote himself into the history books on the 2nd of September 1893, as he, and the newly named Woolwich Arsenal, played their first-ever League game, a Division Two encounter versus Newcastle United. 6,000 were at Manor Park, their new ground at Plumstead, and bore witness to a 2-2 draw. Bob Buist, who had came south from Clyde, was the main half back for Arsenal during the season, and Daniel didn't get much of a look in. He headed back home and signed for Thistle, by now a Second Division club, in July 1894.

Daniel played in all 8 of the opening games of the season, W3 D2 L3. An opening day 5-2 win over Dundee Wanderers was a highlight, as was a 6-1 Scottish Cup win over Royal Albert. A low point for the player and the club was the nightmare Scottish Cup exit to Annbank in South Ayrshire, where the team were harrangued before, during and after the game, culminating in their carriage being stoned out of town. We can only imagine what might have happened had they won? Whether this had an adverse effect on Daniel, who can say but, following the 4-4 draw at home to Morton a week later, he was never heard of again at Inchview.

Somehow, he managed to get himself fixed up at Celtic, and signed for them at the beginning of August, 1895. He was described as "the old Rentonian" at that time, so clearly that's where he had best left his mark on the Scottish game earlier in the decade. His debut, in a friendly at Govan versus Linthouse, seemed to be going well with Celtic leading by two goals to nil, but an almighty collapse left an incredible scoreline of Linthouse 5 Celtic 2. Daniel's performance was said to epitomise Celtic as a whole, playing well in the first half but latterly looking run down. His fitness was brought into question and after just a handful games for Celtic, his footballing career seems to have drawn to a close.

Daniel was described as a journeyman rivetter to trade and was married to Jane. He died at the shockingly young age of just 28, following 8 months of suffering due to Addison's disease. Both parents lived to see their son die, which is always a terribly sad state of affairs.

(WS/JK)



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