Tributes to ‘true family man’ after death of Wisbech Town stalwart Malcolm Devitt

ONE of Wisbech Town’s most capped footballers died two weeks before his 75th birthday after falling from a ladder in Cyprus.

Malcolm Devitt made 385 appearances for the Fenmen after signing from Bradford City in 1963.

The inside forward, who helped Bradford beat Everton 3-0 in the 1960 FA Cup Third Round, finished his career at Wisbech, under player-manager Jesse Pye.

He retired to Cyprus 10 years ago with his wife Josephine and daughter Teresa. He also leaves one son, Andrew, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Malcolm’s close family said they had been moved by tributes sent from former team-mates.

Mark Robson, Malcolm’s grandson who works for the RAF in Hampshire, said: “It’s quite humbling to hear these things. He was a very active man until the day he died.

“He was a brilliant footballer and was a big father figure for me.”

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Malcolm began his career with Bradford Rovers before being called up for two years of National Service. He turned professional with Bradford City in 1959.

Tributes left on the Wisbech Town forum described him as a “smashing person and a true family man who was a very skilful and intelligent footballer.” Another tribute compared his style to that of Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes.

Malcolm’s son Andrew thanked all those who had paid tributes to a “much-loved husband and father”.

He said: “It is clear from the forums of Wisbech Town and his former club Bradford City that his style of football was a joy to so many who knew him or watched him play.

“I know he spent a lot of time coaching the youth of Wisbech, especially Jackie Gallagher who I was at school with. I can honestly say that coaching was a very special joy to him.”

Malcolm died in hospital on Sunday after falling from a ladder while completing maintenance work at one of the Cyprus holiday homes he owned.