The Tasmanian hospitality industry is mourning the death of celebrated publican and former football legend, John Devine, who died on Sunday at the age of 82.

Devine was a successful and well-known operator in Tasmania, who ran the Waggon and Horses, Mornington Inn, Valern Tavern and Black Buffalo pubs. Devine also had a stint as the Labor member in the Tasmanian House of Assembly, representing Denison between 1979 and 1984.

Prior to entering hospitality, ‘JD’ had a successful footballing career, that included 118 games in the VFL with the Geelong Cats (winning the 1963 premiership), and captain-coaching North Hobart to TFL premierships in 1967, 1969 and 1974, being named captain of the North Hobart Demons’ Team of the Century.  

He also coached the Cats from 1986-88, and represented Tasmania as a player, captain or coach on seven occasions.

Devine, who was born in Colac, Victoria, moved to Tasmania in 1967. The Tasmanian Hospitality Association and Clubs Tasmania expressed their condolences, and highlighted Devine’s standing in the community.

“’JD’ was a revered figure both on the football field and in the business world who was admired and respected by all.”

Devine is survived by his wife Marie, six children and 16 grandchildren. His children are also active in the hospitality industry in Tasmania, with Justin Devine currently the operator of the Maypole Tavern, and Arron the independent chair of the Visitor Experience Training board (VXT).

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