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Joe Royle
Personal information
Full name Joseph Royle
Date of birth 8 April 1949 (1949-04-08) (age 60)
Place of birth Liverpool, England
Playing position Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1966–1974 Everton 231 (102)
1974–1977 Manchester City 099 0(23)
1977–1980 Bristol City 101 0(18)
1980–1982 Norwich City 042 00(9)
Total 473 (152)
National team
1971–1977 England 006 00(2)
Teams managed
1982–1994 Oldham Athletic
1994–1997 Everton
1998–2001 Manchester City
2002–2006 Ipswich Town
2009 Oldham Athletic
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Joseph "Joe" Royle (born 8 April 1949) is an English football manager. In his club career, he played for Everton (debuting at the age of 16), Manchester City, Bristol City, Norwich City, and the England national team. Royle has managed Oldham Athletic, Everton, Manchester City, and Ipswich Town.


Playing career


Club career

Royle attended Quarry Bank High School in Liverpool where he was an exceptional all-round sportsman. Unusually for a grammar schoolboy he played for the Liverpool schoolboys team, which was usually drawn from secondary modern schools.

A number of clubs were interested in signing Royle, including Manchester United, but it was his hometown club Everton that succeeded in recruiting him to their ranks. He went on to make 270 appearances for Everton, scoring 119 times. He made his debut at the age of 16 and held the record of being the youngest player to play for Everton until James Vaughan beat the record on 10 April, 2005 by 11 days. For five seasons he was Everton's top scorer, notably scoring 23 goals in the Championship-winning side of 1969–70 and Manchester City manager Tony Book bought Royle for £170,000 in 1974 and he went on to claim further honours as he helped them to win the League Cup in 1976.

He left Maine Road in November 1977 to join Bristol City and had a further stint with Norwich City, including winning Norwich City player of the year in 1981, before being forced to retire from the game in 1982 due to a knee injury. In 2002, he was voted into the club's hall of fame by Norwich supporters. A fitting end to a fine career. His time at Bristol City, however, had not been so fruitful. After a storming on-loan debut, scoring four, Joe only tallied another 14 goals in the remaining 100 games with the reds.

International career

Royle was awarded the first of his six England caps against Malta in 1971.

Managerial career

In 1982, Royle took over the managerial reins at Oldham Athletic. He spent twelve years in charge at Boundary Park, turning an average Second Division club into a Premier League outfit by 1991. Royle's teams won many friends with their care-free, cavalier style. Royle as an individual also received wide acclaims from spectators for his "rave dancing" along the touchline at the end of a game at Swindon. Oldham were beaten in the 1990 League Cup final by Nottingham Forest, and reached the last four of the FA Cup twice (in 1990 and 1994), losing both times to Manchester United. After relegation to the First Division in 1994, Royle resigned from Oldham.

He soon replaced Mike Walker as manager of Everton and took them to FA Cup glory in his first season as manager (1994–95). A year later they finished sixth in the Premiership, but their form in 1996–97 was less convincing and on transfer deadline day 1997 he was not permitted to sign the Norwegians (Tore André Flo and Claus Eftevaag) by chairman Peter Johnson, which led to his resignation. He was named the Everton Giant for 2004 for his successes as both a player and a manager for the Toffees.

After 11 months out of the game, he accepted the challenge to manage Manchester City in February 1998. When Royle arrived the club was deep in the relegation zone and even though he could not save the club from relegation to Division Two, the next season they were promoted through the play-offs and a year later were promoted to the Premiership. It was said in his book that he was physically attacked by Paulo Wanchope, who was at Manchester City when he was manager. Manchester City only spent one season back in the top division, leading to Royle being dismissed after relegation in May 2001.[1]

Royle returned to the game in November 2002 to manage Ipswich Town, who had been relegated from the Premier League the previous season. In January 2003 the club entered administration, which lead to the exit of several leading players and a restriction of transfer and wage funds. Royle twice led Ipswich to the play-offs, in 2004 and 2005, but lost on both occasions to West Ham United. Several players were subsequently sold off to Premier League sides, and Ipswich finished 15th in the 2005–06 season, their lowest finish since 1966, and Royle left the club by 'mutual consent' in the close season.

In December 2006, Royle was appointed as a Patron of Trust Oldham, the official supporter's association of Oldham. In November 2007, Royle was under serious consideration for the Leicester City and Wigan Athletic managerial roles, but decided to pull out of the running for both.[2]

During his break from management, Royle co-commentated alongside the likes of John Helm and Tony Jones on Five's UEFA Cup Football coverage.

On 15 March, 2009, Royle was re-appointed to Oldham Athletic on a temporary basis, following the resignation of John Sheridan.[3] In April, he was offered the job on a permanent basis,[4] though later turned it down on 28 April, when he announced that he would be leaving the club after the final game.[5] On 2 May, in his final game, Royle led Oldham to a 2–1 away victory in the club's final game of the season.[6]

Managerial statistics

Team From To Record
G W D L Win %
England Oldham Athletic 14 July 1982 10 November 1994 &0000000000000608.000000608 &0000000000000225.000000225 &0000000000000165.000000165 &0000000000000218.000000218 &0000000000000037.01000037.01
England Everton 10 November 1994 27 March 1997 &0000000000000118.000000118 &0000000000000047.00000047 &0000000000000036.00000036 &0000000000000035.00000035 &0000000000000039.83000039.83
England Manchester City 18 February 1998 21 May 2001 &0000000000000171.000000171 &0000000000000074.00000074 &0000000000000047.00000047 &0000000000000050.00000050 &0000000000000043.27000043.27
England Ipswich Town 28 November 2002 11 May 2006 &0000000000000189.000000189 &0000000000000081.00000081 &0000000000000048.00000048 &0000000000000060.00000060 &0000000000000042.86000042.86
England Oldham Athletic 15 March 2009 8 May 2009 &0000000000000009.0000009 &0000000000000001.0000001 &0000000000000004.0000004 &0000000000000004.0000004 &0000000000000011.11000011.11
Career Total &0000000000001096.0000001,096 &0000000000000428.000000428 &0000000000000300.000000300 &0000000000000368.000000368 &0000000000000039.05000039.05

Managerial Honours

Oldham Athletic


Manchester City


External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Kevin Bond
Norwich City Player of the Season
Succeeded by
Greg Downs


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