Irish international John Devine began his professional career
in London with Arsenal in 1976. After 397 appearances for the
Gunners that produced 19 goals, he moved to Norwich in June 1983.
In 69 games for the Canaries, he scored three times, twice against
Watford and once versus Liverpool.
He formed an ex-Canary trivumerate with Keith
Bertschin and Louie Donowa at Stoke,
his next league club. After a broken leg more or less ended his
playing career in England, he went to Norway with spells at Kristiansand
and Idretskl Ubben Start, the latter as Player/Coach. A return
to Ireland with Shamrock Rovers was followed by his most unusual
footballing setting so far when he joined Indian side East Bengal.
He was later employed by Irish side Shelbourne.
Shelbourne established a link with Manchester United as a "feeder
club". Needing to identify younger talent across the Emerald
Isle, United then appointed Devine as their youth development
officer in Ireland. Devine's job is to travel the country, arranging
four-a-side games for kids up to the age of 12, which take place
free from the stresses of excited parents or competitive structures.
He also has his own furniture business.
In 2008, Devine was appointed as head coach at new Irish side
Sporting Fingal, formed by Fingal Council, and who play in the
FAI First Division. Former Shamrock Rovers manager Liam Buckley
is the club's manager They took Sporting Finghal to victory in
the Irish FA Cup final in November 2009, beating Paul
Cook's Sligo Rovers. Sporting Fingal took part in European
competition for the first time ever in 2010/11; losing 6-4 on
aggregate in the Europa League to Portuguese side Maritimo
Sporting Fingal went out of business in February 2011.
Devine was also married to former Miss Ireland Michelle Rocca