SHEFFIELD UNITED: Blades old boy not ready to hear full-time whistle

Blades days: Paul Devlin
Blades days: Paul Devlin

YOU can’t keep a good man down.

Father time is catching up with Paul Devlin. But the ex-Sheffield United winger and Scotland international refuses to hang up his boots just yet.

At the ripe old age of 40, Devlin, who made over 500 Football League appearances in his career for Birmingham City, Watford, United and Notts County, has recently come out of retirement and joined Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division South side Romulus FC.

In recent years, Devlin has devoted his time and energy to coaching youngsters and playing Sunday and veterans football.

However, after three years without a club, Devlin has been tempted to link up with the non league side after speaking to Roms boss Richard Evans and coach Dave Barnett.

Devlin said: “I’ve known Richard and Dave a long time, especially Rich from my days at Tamworth when he was playing for Moor Green, so I said I would sign and help out. It’s very much a flexible agreement as I can’t commit to every match with coaching children and my lad playing football.”

It was ex-Blades chief Neil Warnock who handed Devlin his professional debut 20 years ago at Notts County. After the first of his two spells at Birmingham, Devlin moved to Bramall Lane in 1998. He started in both legs of United’s narrow defeat to Sunderland in the play-off semi finals.

Devlin, capped 10 times in total by his country, claimed the Player of the Year accolade in 2000.

Between 1998 and 2002, Devlin went on to make more than 169 appearances for the Blades, hitting 29 goals in all competitions.

Of his stint at United, he said: “I had a fantastic four years there. They are a fantastic club, I made lots of friends there and I really enjoyed it.”