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REMEMBERING: Joe Devlin 1931-2020

Wing wizard part of greatest ever Stanley team

16 December 2020

Accrington Stanley are sad to hear of the death of wing wizard Joe Devlin, who played under Walter Galbraith in what is considered the greatest Reds’ team.

Joe died at the Royal Blackburn Hospital aged 89 after setting in Hyndburn following his move from Falkirk in 1953.

The Scotsman could play on either wing and he was Galbraith’s first Stanley signing of the 1953 team which included Les Cocker and Harold Bodle.

Joe was part of what is seen as the greatest Stanley side in mid-1950s which challenged for promotion from Division Three (North) to the old Second Division for four consecutive seasons from 1955-58, finishing runners-up and third, with the average home attendance at Peel Park nearly 10,000.

That great team included Jimmy Harrower, Eddie Hunter, Armour Ashe, goalkeeper Tom McQueen, Bodle, John Ryden, Charlie Sneddon, George Stewart, Archie Wright and Bert Scott.

Joe was there for the unveiling of the new floodlights at Peel Park in 1953, costing £9,500, and was at Stanley as Galbraith famously fielded a team of 11 Scotsmen.

He left in 1956 and went to Rochdale and Carlisle but returned to club in 1962 only for, weeks later, the club to resign from the Football League.

After football, Joe became an electrical engineer and was affectionately known as 'the Hoover man' in the town.

Joe leaves wife Anna, daughter Elaine and sons Joseph and Glenn, as well as grandchildren and great grandchildren.

There will be a private funeral service with donations requested to the Alzheimer's Society via funeral director Hyndburn Funeral Services.

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