Affectionately known as 'Choco', Royal was a star rover from Bairnsdale who was recruited to the Footscray Football Club prior to the 1983 season. In his first year for the Bulldogs, he won the Charles Sutton Medal, the Club's Best and Fairest award and went on to have an extremely distinguished career, despite never winning a premiership with his beloved 'Dogs. Royal represented his state on seven occasions and was an All-Australian representative. Despite his career coming to an abrupt end on 199 games and 299 goals due to a ruptured achilles tendon against Essendon late in the 1993 season, Royal is remembered for his class as an elite midfielder throughout the 1980's, his unwavering courage and renowned ability to turn a game with his uncanny goal sense.
He spent all of his 199 matches with Footscray, wearing the number 33 throughout his career, which remains the club record for the guernsey. A favorite son, Royal was a prolific ball winner, exceptional mark for his size and freakish goal sneak.