England Football Online
Players Index Page Last Updated
25 December 2022

Tommy Boyle

Burnley FC

1 appearance, 0 goals

P 1 W 0 D 0 L 1 F 1: A 2
0% successful


captain: none
minutes played:

  Thomas William Boyle
Birth 29 January 1886 in Platts Common, Hoyland, near Barnsley, West Riding of Yorkshire [registered as Thomas William, in Barnsley, March 1886].

According to the 1891 census, Thomas is the youngest of five children to Irish-born Peter and Ellen. They all live, alongside four lodgers (three coalminers and a blacksmith), on Wentworth Road in Nether Hoyland. His father is a coal miner.


According to the 1901 census, Thomas, alongside his sister Mary, and their parents, are boarding with the Penton's at 5 Royal Oak Yard in Nether Hoyland. His father is a coal miner hewer, as is George Penton, head of the household.


Thomas cannot be found on the 1911 census. But his widower father, Peter, is living with his married daughter, Catherine and her family, at Blacksmiths Yard in Platts Common, Hoyland.

Marriage to Annie Elizabeth Varley, in Burnley [registered in Burnley, March 1917].
  According to the 1921 census, Thomas William, a professional footballer (for Burnley FC) is now married to Annie Elizabeth, and with his mother-in-law, they live at 68 Rectory Road in Burnley.
"The appeal by Thomas William Boyle, licensee of the Pedestrian Inn, Parker-lane, and ex-captain of the Burnley Football Club, against a conviction and a fine of £10 imposed by the borough magistrates for selling drink during prohibited hours, came before the Recorder, Mr. T.B. Leigh, at the Burnley Quarter Sessions on Monday. After a long and careful hearing, the Recorder upheld the magistrates' decision, and dismissed the appeal." - The Burnley News, Wednesday, 23 October 1923.
Tom Boyle, the former Burnley centre-half and captain, and English International, now described as a labourer, of Peter Street, Blackpool, appeared before Blackpool magistrates yesterday on a charge of being drunk and disorderly. Sergeant Richmond said that two men, the other being William Hammond (28) of Kent Road, were fighting together. Hammond appeared to be the aggressor. Hammond in evidence, stated that he was in the Palastine Hotel lounge last night, when Boyle came across to him and said he had won £50. They had several drinks together, and when they got outside Boyle adopted a fighting attitude. Boyle began to use foul language to him, and they closed and began to fight. Boyle was fined 20s., and Hammond 10s. in the first case, and costs in the second." - The Burnley News,  Saturday, 23 May 1931.
"Councillor John R.F. Hill, of Bispham, summoned Thomas Boyle, the Burnley ex-International footballer, of no settled address, at Blackpool Police Court, on Monday, for refusing to pay a taxi fare. The amount claimed was £4, 19s. An order for payment was made. The driver of the taxi cab said that Boyle got in with a woman, and instructed him to go to Accrington. They called at two hotels in Accrington, and then Boyle ordered him to go to Burnley, where they again called at hotels. At Burnley he told Boyle that the amount was running up, and he said, "That's all right. Who's paying?" Later, he was told that by the time he returned to Blackpool the fare would be about £5, and Boyle replied: "£5? You'll be lucky if you get £1." Subsequently the driver had to wait outside an hotel for half an hour, and as Boyle did not return, he left him. Boyle, in evidence, said he did not order the taxi, and that another man did. He could not pay, as he was on the dole. The Bench orderd Boyle to pay the £4 19s. owing, at the rate of £1 per month." - The Burnley News,  Saturday, 27 June 1931.
Cannot be found on the 1939 register, where he will be an inmate at Whittingham Mental Hospital.
Died: 2 January 1940 of 'General Paralysis of the Insane' in Whittingham Mental Hospital, aged 53 years 338 days [registered in Amounderness, Lancs, March 1940]. Funeral: was buried in an unmarked grave at St Helen's Churchyard, Hoyland.
A headstone (left) was erected and dedicated in May 2010.
The dedication ceremony was attended by members of Tommy Boyle's family and by representatives of both Barnsley FC and Burnley FC.
Notes: It was his death certificate that we can ascertain certain information, that is to say, he is not the Thomas Wilkinson Boyle previously thought. Although his death certificate states he was 51, he was in fact, 53, and the error stems from him being of an unknown age inside a Mental Hospital.

Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990] &

Biographies Tommy Boyle Broken Hero: Story of a Football Legend - Mike Smith (Grosvenor House Publishing Ltd - 5 July 2011)

Playing Career

Club(s) Tommy started his footballing career with Hoyland Star FC and then Elsecar FC in the Barnsley League. Barnsley FC signed Boyle in May 1906 and after 160 league appearances and seventeen goals, Burnley FC signed him on 23 September 1911 for a club record fee paid of £1150. He became a club captain after only a months service. He remained for the war period and beyond, becoming the club's player-coach in 1922. He made 210 league appearances, scoring 36 goals. He was released and he signed with Wrexham AFC in 1923, where he made seven league appearances.
Club honours FA Cup runners-up 1909-10, winners 1913-14; Football League Champions 1920-21;
Individual honours Football League (four appearances)
Distinctions Became the first captain to receive the FA Cup from a reigning monarch, King George V.
Height/Weight 5' 7½", 11st. 4lbs [1914].


Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990].

England Career

Player number One of seven who became the 361st players (363) to appear for England.
Position(s) Centre-half
Only match No. 114, 15 February 1913, Ireland 2 England 1, a British Championship match at Windsor Park, Donegall Avenue, Belfast, aged 27 years 17 days.
Major tournaments British Championship 1912-13;
Team honours British Championship winners 1912-13;
Individual honours None
Distinctions Could Tommy Boyle be the first substitute to be used by England? On 21 January 1914, in an England verses The North match in Sunderland, Boyle was the reserve. However, Joe McCall, the England centre-half was injured and could not resume after half-time. Boyle took his place.

Beyond England

Was landlord of the Pedestrian Inn in Burnley since 2 January 1922, until 25 December 1923. Coached in Germany for a spell from 1924. Became very successful at Bowling. - An English Football Internationalists' Who's Who. Douglas Lamming (1990). Hatton Press, p.41.
He experienced the First World War, a bombardier with the Royal Field Artillery and was badly wounded. Despite being told he would never play again, he captained Burnley FC to the Championship. Following the end of his career and his reemergence in Burnley, Boyle's personal life descended into chaos as he depended more and more on alcohol and gambling. He lost his home and his family and livelihood. He ultimately got committed and
died in a mental hospital.


Tommy Boyle - Career Statistics
Squads Apps comp. apps Mins. Goals goals ave.min comp. goals Capt. Disc.
1 1 1 90 0 0 min 0 none none
minutes are an approximation, due to the fact that many matches rarely stick to exactly ninety minutes long, allowing time for injuries and errors.


Tommy Boyle - Match Record - All Matches - By Type of Match
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts % W/L
Away - British Championship 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0 0 1.00 2.00 0.00 -1
All 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0 0 1.00 2.00 0.00 -1


Tommy Boyle - Match Record - Tournament Matches
British Championship Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
BC 1912-13 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0 0 1.00 2.00 0.00 -1
BC All 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0 0 1.00 2.00 0.00 -1
All Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
BC 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0 0 1.00 2.00 0.00 -1
All 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0 0 1.00 2.00 0.00 -1


Tommy Boyle - Match History
 Club: Barnsley F.C. - 0 full appearances

F.A. International Select Committee - 1 full capx

Age 24
- 105 12 February 1910 - Ireland 1 England 1, Cliftonville Gardens, Belfast BC AD reserve
 Club: Burnley F.C. - 1 full cap  
Age 27
1 114 15 February 1913 - Ireland 2 England 1, Windsor Park, Belfast BC AL Start ch