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Players Index Page Last Updated
3 April 2024

Jack Devey

Mitchell St. George FC, Aston Villa FC

2 appearances, 1 goal

P 2 W 1 D 1 L 0 F 4: A 2
75% successful


captain: none
minutes played:


  John Henry George Devey
Birth Boxing Day, Wednesday, 26 December 1866 in Birmingham, Warwickshire
  registered as Dovey in Birmingham January-March 1867

According to the 1871 census, John H.G. is the eldest of three sons to William and Mary Ann (née Prince). They live in Denmark Street in Hamlet Place, Aston.


According to the 1881 census, John H.G. is a jeweller, and now with another two younger brothers and a younger sister. His father is a worker of silver and they all live at 6 Whitmore Street in Birmingham.

First marriage to Alice Esther Tillotson, in West Bromwich, spring 1889
  registered in West Bromwich April-June 1889
Children John and Alice Devey had two daughters together. Doris Rosina (b.1 February 1889) and Gladys Tillotson

According to the 1891 census, John H.G. is married to Alice with one daughter, Doris  They live at 13 Radnor Street in Birmingham. John is a grocer and outdoor licenser.


According to Kelly's Directory of Birmingham, John is living at 227 Berners Street in 1900.
Then according to the 1901 census, Devey, along with seven other footballers, is visiting Blackpool, for they are staying at the Station Hotel on Talbot Road.
He also appears on the return at home (albeit crossed out), he has another daughter, Gladys, and along with his wife, they live at 227 Berners Street in Aston Manor. He is a professional footballer.
The Birmingham Rate Books for Devey in 1901 confirm his address as 227 Berners Street. An annual rental of £17 10s was paid to the owner, a Miss Riley.

"Readers will be interested to learn that our old friend, John Devey, is about to embark in a business enterprise as a boot and shoe manufacturer. He has taken premises at Six Ways, Aston. The rear of the premises will be devoted to the manufacture of athletic goods."
- The Sports Argus, Saturday, 14 March 1903.

According to Kelly's Directory of Birmingham, John's bootmaking business is based at 5 Birchfield Road in Birchfield, between 1908 and 1921.
Then, according to the 1911 census, Devey is a Boot & Shoe Provider, living with his wife and daughters at 57 Fentham Road in Handsworth.
(Alice Devey died in early 1914, followed by his father on 26 January 1919).

  "John Devey, the Aston Villa player of former days, and at present a director of the club, is seriously ill. He was present at a directors' meeting on Thursday, but was afterwards taken ill, and it is feared that he is suffering from an attack of appendicitis, and it may be that an operation will be necessary. Last evening Mr. Devey was a shade better." - The Sheffield Daily Telegraph, Wednesday, 27 December 1911
Second marriage to Alice Marian Ward, on Wednesday, 23 July 1919 at St. John's Church in Perry Barr.
  registered in West Bromwich July-September 1919
"The marriage of Mr. John Devey, a director of the Aston Villa Football Club, and a former captain of the team, took place yesterday afternoon at St. John's Church, Perry Barr. The bride was Miss Ward, daughter of the late Mr. Fred Ward, one of Birmingham's finest violinists in his day." - The Birmingham Gazette, Thursday, 24 July 1919

According to the 1921 census, John Henry George is a Boot & Shoe Dealer, now married to Alice and living at 5 Birchfield Road in Birchfield.


The Midland Electoral Registers of 1920 states that John still lives at 57 Fentham Road and his business address was at 5 Birchfield Road, where he remained until at least 1930.
(His mother died on 29 July 1929)

  According to the Midland Electoral Registers, John and Alice were living at 7 Griffin Road in Erdington since at least 1935.
And then according to the 1939 register, John H.G., a retired invalid, and Alice M. are now married, and are living at 7 Griffin Road in Birmingham along with his daughter, Doris, and her husband.
(His brother, Harry, died 20 February 1940)
Death Friday, 11 October 1940 in a Birmingham nursing home at 6 Trafalgar Road, Moseley, Birmingham, Warwickshire.
aged 73 years 290 days registered in Birmingham October-December 1940


"The famous old Aston Villa player and Warwickshire cricketer, Mr. John Devey, died early to-day in a Birmingham nursing home. He was in his 74th year.
"For well over half a century the name of Devey has loomed large in the history of Association football in Birmingham, for apart from John there were his brothers, Will and Edward, who played for Birmingham (then Small Heath) and his Uncle Harry, who served the Villa so well as a half-back for many seasons. There was a time, indeed, in the Perry Barr days, when both John Devey and his uncle were together in the Villa team.
"Mr. Devey, whose home was at 7, Griffin Road, Erdington, had been in poor health for something like seven years, and for this reason, in 1934, he resigned from the board of directors of the Aston Villa club. He had then been associated with the Villa for over 44 years, 33 years as a director, and he has since been a vice-president of the club. It will be noted, therefore, that his death comes in the 50th year of his association with Aston Villa.
"John, the most accomplished of all the Deveys, learned his football on Potter's Field, Aston, whence many great players of the old days graduated. He played for Aston Clarendon, and subsequently followed his uncle Harry to the Excelsior, whose field was in Fentham Road. That club at one time threatened to rival Aston Villa, but ultimately succumbed to the more powerful attractions of the Aston team.
"In 1890 Devey threw in his lot with Aston Villa, and took up the position as leader of the attack following on the retirement of Archie Hunter. Devey acquitted himself admirably in the position, but became better known as an inside-right, forming, with the late Charles Athersmith probably the greatest right wing the club have ever possessed.
Considering that he was such a fine constructive forward, Devey received scanty recognition fro the Football Association, being capped on only two occasions.
Association football was not the only sport in which he excelled. He was a great cricketer, and when the American game of baseball was imported and the endeavor made to popularise it here he became so proficient, particularly as a pitcher, that he was probably as fine a player as this country has produced. He had been one of Aston Unity's stalwarts both as a batsman and bowler before throwing in his lot with the county, and for a number of seasons he was one of the most forceful and attractive batsmen."

 - The Birmingham Mail, Friday, 11 October 1940
"ASTON VILLA'S GREATEST captain" - The Evening Dispatch, Friday, 11 October 1940.
Wednesday, 16 October 1940
Erdington Parish Church.
"The funeral of Mr. John Devey, a former director of Aston Villa Football Club, and captain of the team, English international player and Warwickshire county cricketer, took place yesterday. The service at Erdington Parish Church, conducted by the Rev. W. S. Power (Vicar), was attended by many sportsmen with whom Mr. Devey had been associated. The Lesson was read by Mr. T. Mason. The bearers were six former Villa players―Messrs. W. H. Walker, R. E. York, A. Dorrell, J. Gibson, G. Brown and Frank Barson―all old international players." - The Birmingham Post, Thursday, 17 October 1940.
Probate "DEVEY John Henry George otherwise John of 7 Griffin-road Erdington Birmingham died 11 October 1940 at 6 Trafalgar-road Moseley Birmingham Probate Birmingham 29 January to Frederick Henry Normansell wholesale fish merchant.
Effects £2042 5s. 5d." [2019 equivalent: £115,735]


Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990] &

Playing Career

Played junior football with either Aston Clarendon FC or Montrose FC and Wellington FC (depending on source), and then to Excelsior FC along with his uncle Harry. Jack joined Aston Unity FC in 1886, before he joined Mitchell St George's FC a year later. Joining Aston Villa in August 1891, eventually gaining the captaincy. He received a £100 cheque and an illuminated address for his services on 14 December 1896. Then, on 5 October 1899, he escaped suspension by the Villa committee after he insulted one of the directors. On 2 September 1901, Devey lost the captaincy, but was appointed as a trainer to the younger Villa players. He remained until April 1902. In December 1903, however, Devey intimated his desire to return to the game. Glossop FC made appeals for his signature, but it was a fruitless task.
League History
268 appearances, 168 goals
Aston Villa FC 1891-1902 268 appearances, 168 goals.
debut: 5 September 1891 Aston Villa FC 5 Blackburn Rovers FC 1.
last: 14 December 1901 Aston Villa 4 Grimsby Town FC 1.
Club honours FA Cup runners-up 1891-92 (5ᵃ 5ᵍ), winners 1894-95 (5ᵃ 3ᵍ), 1896-97 (7ᵃ);
Football League Division One Champions 1893-94 (29ᵃ, 20ᵍ), 1895-96 (30, 16ᵍ), 1896-97 (29, 17ᵍ), 1898-99 (30, 21ᵍ), 1899-1900 (25, 13ᵍ); third place 1894-95 (25, 16ᵍ);
Individual honours Football League (four appearances); Birmingham FA (1889-90, often as captain)

Also played first class cricket for Warwickshire CC 1894-1907. As well as baseball and was also a cyclist.
The benefit match awarded to Devey was played on 19 July 1906 between Warwickshire CC and Surrey CC.
"The accounts in connection with the same have now been made up and passed, and Devey will benefit to the extent of £406." - The Leeds Mercury, Friday, 14 December 1906.  [2019 equivalent: £49,737]
Brother of Will (Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, Aston Villa FC, Walsall Town Swifts FC, Burton Wanderers FC, Notts County FC, Walsall FC and Small Heath FC 1891-99)
and Ted (Small Heath FC and Burton Wanderers FC 1892-97).
Nephew of Harry Devey (Aston Villa FC 1888-1893).
Height/Weight 5' 8½", 11st. 9lbs [1892], 5' 9", 11st. 12lbs [1895].


Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990] & ENFA.

England Career

Player number One of five who became the 185th players (189) to appear for England.
Position(s) Centre-forward
First match No. 44, 5 March 1892, Ireland 0 England 2, a British Championship match at Cliftonville Gardens, Cliftonville, Belfast, aged 25 years 70 days.
Last match No. 50, 3 March 1894, Ireland 2 England 2, a British Championship match at Cliftonville Gardens, Cliftonville, Belfast, aged 27 years 67 days.
Major tournaments British Championship 1891-92, 1893-94;
Team honours British Championship winners 1891-92;

Individual honours
The North (one appearance, January 1889, reserve in 1890)
The Whites (two appearances, 1ᵍ March 1891-February 1892)
The Stripes (one appearance, March 1891)
The Professionals (one appearance, March 1897, withdrew March 1897)
Distinctions Died ten days after Richard Barker

Beyond England

By vocation, Devey was a sports outfitter at Lozells' in Birmingham. He had a regular column in the Birmingham Mail in 1905. After retiring from playing, he became a director at the Aston Villa club until September 1934. - An English Football Internationalists' Who's Who. Douglas Lamming (1990). Hatton Press, p.86.

The Numbers
parties Appearances comp. apps minutes goals ave.min comp. goals captain
5 2 2 180 1 180 min 1 none
The minutes here given can only ever be a guideline and cannot therefore be accurate, only an approximation.
2 1 1 0 4 2 +2 0 1 2 1 75 +1
Both of his matches were in the British Championship and played at an away venue

Tournament Record

British Championship Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
BC 1889-90 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 =0
BC 1890-91 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 =0
BC 1891-92 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2 0 1 2.00 0.00 100.0 +1
BC 1893-94 1 0 1 0 2 2 =0 0 0 2.00 2.00 50.0 =0
BC 1894-95 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 =0
BC All 2 1 1 0 4 2 +2 0 1 2.00 1.00 75.0 +1

All Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
BC 2 1 1 0 4 2 +2 0 1 2.00 1.00 75.0 +1
2 1 1 0 4 2 +2 0 1 2 1 75 +1
Match History

 Club: Mitchell St. George F.C. - no full appearances F.A. International Select Committee - two full appearances (180 min) 1ᵍx

Age 22 trial  
one appearance - The North vs. The South, January 1889;
Age 23    
reserve - The South vs. The North, January 1890;

apps match match details comp res. rundown pos

38 15 March 1890 - Ireland 1 England 9, Ulster Cricket Ground, Belfast
39 15 March 1890 - Wales 1 England 3, The Racecourse, Wrexham AW

 Club: Aston Villa F.C. - two full appearances (180 min) 1ᵍ  

Age 24 trial  
one appearance - The Whites vs. The Stripes, 24 March 1891;
Devey began the match playing for The Stripes, and swapped sides at half-time.

43 4 April 1891 - England 2 Scotland 1, Ewood Park, Blackburn BC HW reserve

Age 25 trial  
one appearance - The Whites vs. The Stripes, 29 February 1892;

1 44 5 March 1892 - Ireland 0 England 2
Cliftonville Gardens, Belfast
BC AW ko cf

one of five who became the 185th player (189) to appear for England
one of two who became the sixth player from Aston Villa FC to represent England

Age 27
2 50 3 March 1894 - Ireland 2 England 2
Cliftonville Gardens, Belfast
BC AW disallowed [0-0]
42 ran thro'

Age 28
53 9 March 1895 - England 9 Ireland 0, Derbyshire County Cricket Ground, Derby BC HW withdrawn

Age 29 trial  
one appearance - The Amateurs vs. The Professionals, March 1896;
Age 30    
withdrew - The Amateurs vs. The Professionals, March 1897;