lifetime of soccer achievement

Tommy Boyle began his footballing career in the junior leagues in South Yorkshire and signed for Barnsley FC in 1906, making the switch to Lancashire team Burnley in 1911.

According to historians he was just 5ft 7in tall, but was renowned as a commanding centre back, well-known for his heading skills, leadership qualities and ability to motivate his teammates.

He is the only player to have captained Burnley in a winning FA Cup final and his record with the team of 30 unbeaten games stood for 80 years until Arsenal went through an unbeaten season in 2003-04.

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He led Burnley to the League Championship in 1921, grabbing the honours with three games still to play, and played for England against Ireland in Belfast in 1913.

After retiring from the Clarets’ first team in 1922, Boyle continued to pay for the reserve team for another season, until he left to coach in Wrexham and in Germany.

Boyle is thought to have ended his working days as a publican in Blackpool before severe health problems led to his death in Barnsley in 1940.