Looking at the record one might think that Archibald Devine was a player who could not settle!
Archibald F Devine was born in Lochore, Fife, on 2 April 1887 and started out playing Scottish junior (ie non-league) football, before moving into the league. For him, changing clubs was what it was all about.
He wasn’t at Arsenal that long, but he was an international player at a time when we had a dearth of talent, and he was an FA Cup winner.
I am not going to try and give background details on all the clubs he played for, not only because there are some I have never heard of, but also because this is one of the few players who played in the last match at Plumstead that we know something about.
But let’s at least mention each club (although there were so many, the records don’t always agree).
Minto Rovers is the first, followed by Lochgelly Rangers and then Lochgelly United (for whom he signed three times).
Lochgelly United were, self evidently, based in Lochgelly (the Loch of the Shining Waters) in Fife, although ultimately they moved to Cowdenbeath. They were nNicknamed the ‘Happylanders’, and were members of the Scottish Football League from 1914 having played in the Northern and Central Leagues in Devine’s days.
But it would be a mistake to think that a town with a population of 6000 had two clubs (Rangers and United). United itself was formed in 1890 through merging Lochgelly Athletic (formed 1886) and Fifeshire Hibernian (formed 1889). They lasted until 1928 when they were wound up.
Moving on through the list of Archi Devine clubs he signed for Heart of Midlothian on two different occasions (I have a record of him there in 1904) and then Raith Rovers before Falkirk where he really established himself.
With Falkirk he is said to have scored 13 goals in 25 games in 1909/10 and got his one and only cap for on 5 March 1910, in the game that ended Scotland 1 Wales 0. Reports say he scored the winner – which is true. He scored the only goal.
Next it was Bradford City for whom he also signed twice at different times and he played in the 1911 FA Cup Final against Newcastle. Against all the odds, and defying all history Archi stayed at Bradford for nearly almost years before joining Woolwich Arsenal.
His first game for Woolwich was against Chelsea 15th February 1913, and he played through much of the season. He started the first season as a regular member of the first team, and scored the winning goal in the first game at Highbury, as we beat Leicester Fosse 2–1 victory.
After playing in the first six games at Highbury, he played only intermittently through the rest of the season and not being one to hang around he left, having played 24 games for Arsenal, (11 in the 1912/13 season, 13 in the first year at Highbury, and scoring five goals.
After that different reference works have him playing at Dunfermline Athletic, Shelbourne and Cowdenbeath before his final return to Lochgelly United. According to Wiki, after retiring from football he worked as a miner and a docker.
He died on 30 September 1964 aged 78.
- Goal: O Wilson
- Right back: J Shaw
- Left Back: J Fidler
- Right Half: GM Grant
- Centre Half: PR Sands
- Left Half: A McKinnon
- Outside Right: C H Lewis
- Inside Right : W A Spittle
- Centre Forward: S J Stonley
- Inside Left: A Devine (this article)
- Outside Left: G Burrell
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