Crap though he may have been, Big Dev leaves behind fond memories. Sure,
he had his shortcomings (playing football was high on this list), but he
was a genuinely nice bloke. In a team whose two most skilful
players (Ramage and Connolly) were arrogant gits, Dev came out with a lot of
credit. Then again, I suppose it's hard to be a prima donna when you
play football like a horse plays snooker.
Devon was signed by Glenn Roeder from Notts County for £100,000.
Seen by many as a panic buy, he appeared to be doing the business with a
run of goals and a fruitful link up with David Connolly. Connolly for
his part bagged more than a goal a game, and Dev weighed in with four
valuable strikes which came close to keeping us up. His first against
Reading summed him up really - Dev, not more than two yards from goal,
went to volley, fell off balance, scuffed it completely, but somehow
found the goal. Ugly football, but effective at the right level.
Sadly, the 1996/7 season was a huge disappointment. Dev never really
found any kind of form. Four goals in twenty-six appearances speaks for itself. A
minority in the crowd started getting on his back, giving him the Perry
Digweed treatment at the team announcement, and howling in derision at
his every mistake.
Despite having only just handed in a transfer request, he turned in a
startling performance at home to Oxford, in which he scored one and made
the other. But by then it was clear Dev was on his way out. There'll be
no tears shed in Watford, but I for one will remember Dev fondly, if
only for the fact that he added a bit of humour to a cold and wet day at
Vicarage Road. All the best, Dev!
See also: Gone But Not Forgotten