Retro: Sympathetic Spireites visit stricken team-mate and former Burnley star after Spurs FA Cup clash

George Milburn, Harry Brown, Harry Clifton and Allan Sliman stand at the bedside of Joe Devine, after the Chesterfield half-back broke a leg against Spurs in the FA Cup fifth-round tie in February 1938.

George Milburn, Harry Brown, Harry Clifton and Allan Sliman stand at the bedside of Joe Devine, after the Chesterfield half-back broke a leg against Spurs in the FA Cup fifth-round tie in February 1938.

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This week’s Spireites retro photo shows sympathetic players visiting a stricken team-mate at the Royal Hospital.

George Milburn, Harry Brown, Harry Clifton and Allan Sliman stand at the bedside of Joe Devine, after the Chesterfield half-back broke a leg against Spurs in the FA Cup fifth-round tie in February 1938.

Devine joined Chesterfield at the twilight of an impressive career that included a number of big-money moves.

This was not the first or last of Joe’s serious injuries, however, and when he broke a foot in an A team match in the 1938-9 season he opted to hang up his boots and join the club’s coaching staff.

Joe coached in Iceland just before the second world war and turned out occasionally for the side in the years of ad-hoc, wartime football. Joe took over as `mine host’ at the Peacock, in Cutthorpe, in 1945 and kept the pub until the early 1960s: his coaching career with the Spireites ended in the summer of 1950, however, after Milburn, one of his visiting party in 1938, superceded him on the backroom staff.