The only Burnley captain to hold aloft the FA Cup, Tommy Boyle was one of the best defenders in Burnley's history.
Tommy Boyle was the lynch pin of the great Watson, Boyle and Halley back line, probably Burnley's greatest ever defence. A leader and passionate man, who played football with his heart on his sleeve.
Boyle started his career at Barnsley, and played in their FA Cup final defeat against Newcastle United in 1910, before he made a big money move across the Pennines to Burnley in 1911. Burnley were at the time a second division side, but had higher aspirations, within weeks of his arrival, Boyle was named captain and in 1913 he led Burnley back to the top tier of English football.
The season after Boyle collected the FA Cup from King George V at Crystal Palace, to write his name in history. Sadly with the outbreak of the First World War, he was drafted to the Army and served in France before being seriously injured, and nearly dying.
After recovering from his injures and the end of the War, Boyle continued to captain Burnley and led the Clarets to their first Championship in 1920/21, but this sadly was his last full season playing for Burnley, when in 1923 he left to be a coach/player with Wrexham.
Tommy Boyle continued his association with football, coaching in Germany. On his return to England, he settled in Blackpool, but fell into financial difficulties and illness and died just short of his 52 birthday in 1949. He only made one England appearance
Diminutive for his position, 5ft 7in tall Boyle commanded respect in the air, and was one of the best headers of the ball during this era. He was also a leader in every sense of the word, Tommy Boyle was Burnley's Bobby Moore.