Next in the spotlight is a player who had power, speed and a superb instinct for a goal and was top scorer at Underhill for three consecutive seasons

Born in Lewisham in 1972 Sean was on the books of Millwall as a trainee by the age of 17 impressing Manager Mick McCarthy but failed to break into the first team at the New Den. “I was up against it with Teddy Sheringham there at the time wasn't I?”. He had a loan spell at Woking before dropping into the Isthmian League with Bromley. “I went to America for a short while to try my luck there too”. Back in England after trials at QPR and Leyton Orient an unsettled season at Fisher Athletic followed before the lure of the sun and sand of Cyprus beckoned the 21 year old and he signed for Famagusta, where he spent some six months.

Barnet were lacking in fire power up front after Dougie Freedman's move to Crystal Palace, and Chairman Tony Kleanthous, who allegedly had heard about and witnessed Sean playing while on holiday, forked out £10,000 to allow Bees boss Ray Clemence let the striker have another crack at league football.
Sean made his debut on 7th October 1995 at home to Exeter City in the following Barnet line up scoring in a 3-2 win.
Maik Taylor, Shaun Gale, Mark Stimson, Alan Pardew, David McDonald, Terry Robbins, Glen Thomas, Peter Scott, Paul Wilson, Alex Dyer and Sean Devine. Subs; Lee Charles, Danny Mills and Mark Cooper.

Sean soon started to repay the faith shown in him by scoring with monotonous regularity hitting a real purple patch in the Spring of 1996 alongside strike parter Lee Hodges who also had found his scoring boots. Devine finished the season with 22 goals from just 35 appearances, while Hodges scored 17 from 34. They really were a deadly duo and hot property but Barnet narrowly missed out on the Division 3 play-offs finishing 9th just two points behind Colchester United, who did qualify, but with a far superior goal difference!

More was to follow at the start of the following season under the direction of new Manager Terry Bullivant, and by October 1996 Alan Mullery. Regular headlines akin to “Sean saves the Day” or more likely “Devine Intervention” adorned programmes and and the local and national press. Sean or 'Lumpy' - “I have Peter Scott to thank for that, its a long story!” he has since revealed - became an icon on the terraces at Underhill even posing for a series of photographs with a fashion magazine. Sean would invariably turn up for training with his English Bull Terrier Duke in tow. “He would terrify everybody!”.
Sean Devine - Fashion Icon

In an astonishing vein of form at the start of that season Devine became the new King of Underhill. However in the run up to Christmas of 1996 a series of groin and hernia problems then severely restricted his effectiveness and he only returned to full fitness after a lengthy rehabilitation spell at Lilleshall during the summer of 1997. He still finished the season top scorer with 17 goals from 39 appearances.

John Still's arrival at Underhill heralded the arrival of two strike partners for Sean in Ken Charlery and Scott McGleish. The competition for places should have been healthy for the club but it also contributed to Sean's natural progression to want to move onto a higher level and his attitude frankly became a little erratic.
Barnet drew Norwich City in the first round of the League Cup and in the thrilling second half of the second leg at Underhill with the Bees 3-1 down on aggregate, goals from Greg Heald and a stunning brace from Devine won the tie for Barnet. It was an highly charged emotional night watching from the terraces, I can tell you. Possibly as a consequence of his impressive displays in those League Cup matches and indeed the previous season at Upton Park also in the League Cup, a week long trial at West Ham United was arranged. However an outstanding three match suspension possibly influenced the Hammers decision to not to follow up their initial approach and Sean was somehow forgotten. West Ham coach Frank Lampard Senior was quoted at the time “Sean did well, and could have had a goal or two against Bournemouth in one game. But we need to know how he moves and works, and we will want to look at him again". "The ball is in West Ham's court," said Barnet boss Still. "It's up to them to make contact with us and make a reasonable offer." Further enquires from Stoke City and Stockport also fizzled out. His goal tally for 1987-88 was 18 from 46 appearances including a quite brilliant hatrick at Darlington.

As I have already hinted being constantly in the spotlight, together with the gossip of an imminent move up the football ladder, did begin to have an effect on Sean on and off the pitch. Yet he was called up 8 times for Republic of Ireland B duty by his old ally Mick McCarthy and scored 3 goals. That team included Robbie Keane and Damian Duff in its ranks.

Charlery and McGleish had become the forward partnership preference for John Still at the start of the 1998-99 season and there were indeed hearsays of conflicts between the Still and Devine. “"For the past two years there have been rumours about me going here or there. But after so long at Barnet I felt I was stagnating and I need a move to lift me. I now have a chance to represent my country, but there's also a chance it might lead to something else "  said Sean at the time.

Sean was loaned out to rivals Wycombe Wanderers and ironically if not frustratingly from a Barnet point of view his form immediately returned scoring 6 goals in 7 games. The Underhill faithful certainly voiced its disapproval towards their Manager on a regular basis but by April 1999 a firm offer was received from The Chairboys and a fee of £200,000 was agreed.

His last appearance in a Barnet shirt was on 9th March 1999 in the following line up against Carlisle United at Underhill as a substitute for Marlon King in a 1-0 win;
Lee Harrison, Sam Stockley, Robbie Sawyers, Greg Heald, Mark Arber, Mike Basham, John Doolan, Udo Onwere, Stevie Searle, Ken Charlery and Marlon King. Subs: Darren Currie, Steve Barnes and Sean Devine.

Devine set a Wycombe club record for most goals in a single season by scoring 25 goals during the 1999/2000 campaign. However, a knee injury caused him to miss the whole of the 2000/01 season and after that he was unable to regain his old goalscoring form.

Wycombe boss Lawrie Sanchez accepted an offer from Exeter City in December 2002 and Sean then became a Grecian for £70,000 where he spent 2 seasons scoring over 40 goals but couldn't prevent them from being relegated to the GM Vauxhall Conference.

Devine moved on again in May 2004 but abroad once more. The other side of the world came a calling and he signed for New Zealand Knights, at the time the Kiwis only professional side. He remained with them until 2007, when the club unfortunately disbanded. He ended his career in the 2008 at another New Zealand club, Metro FC in the New Zealand National League, before retiring. 
Last reports are that he is still happily residing near Wellington.

Sean's Barnet career ended on a sour note, unfortunate maybe but it still doesn't stop us appreciating the grace, the power and the quality of his play or indeed smiling while recalling his little tribal like dance whenever he celebrated scoring a goal. Sean was a truly fine player who will always be fondly remembered by Barnet supporters.
Devine's Dance

Sean Devine Appearances 142 Goals 58

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