Roy Coyle

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Roy Coyle
Personal information
Full name Robert Irvine Coyle
Date of birth (1946-01-31) 31 January 1946 (age 71)
Place of birth Belfast, Northern Ireland
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
East Belfast
Ballyclare Comrades
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1966–1969 Ballymena United
1969–1972 Glentoran
1972–1974 Sheffield Wednesday
1974–1975 Grimsby Town
1975–1980 Linfield
National team
1973 Northern Ireland 5 (0)
Teams managed
1975–1990 Linfield
1990–1991 Ards
1991–1993 Derry City
1993–1997 Ards
1997–2006 Glentoran
2006–2007 Newry City
2012 Glentoran (caretaker)
2015 Glentoran (caretaker)
2016 Glentoran (caretaker)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Roy Coyle (born Robert Coyle; 31 January 1946, in Belfast) is a former Northern Ireland international footballer and the most successful manager in the history of the Irish Football League.[1] He is the Director of Football at Glentoran.

Playing career[edit]

Coyle was a "teak tough" wing-half with Ballymena United F.C., Glentoran F.C., Sheffield Wednesday F.C. and Grimsby Town F.C.. He won two Irish League titles and played in Europe six times while with Glentoran before winning five Northern Ireland international caps while playing for Sheffield Wednesday in England.[2]

Management career[edit]


Roy Coyle became player-manager of Linfield in 1975. In his first couple of years at the club, Coyle got Linfield into the Irish Cup final but lost to Carrick Rangers F.C. A year later they lost in the Irish Cup final again, but this time to Coleraine F.C. the following year. The Linfield board decided to give Coyle another chance and that decision proved to be one of the best decisions ever made in Irish League football. Roy Coyle won 31 trophies with Linfield and left the club in 1990 after his contract was terminated.

Derry City[edit]

Coyle was appointed manager of Derry City in 1991. The season before, he was manager of County Down club Ards but resigned. Coyle only stayed for 2 years and winning the League of Ireland Cup. In 1993, Coyle left and returned to Ards F.C.

Ards F.C.[edit]

Coyle return to the County Down side in 1993 and won 2 trophies. The County Antrim Shield and the Irish League Cup. Coyle stayed at the club for 4 years then decided to become manager of Glentoran F.C.


Roy Coyle shocked the Irish League by becoming the new manager of Glentoran after the sacking of Tommy Cassidy. Even though Coyle played for Glentoran, it took some of the fans a while to get used to him after managing their bitter rivals Linfield. Coyle brought that success he had with Linfield and became Glentoran's most successful manager ever by winning 16 trophies with Glentoran. In 2006, after winning the league, Glentoran started to have a string of poor results. The fans started to turn against Coyle and the players. Then an away match to Armagh City F.C. saw Glentoran crashing to a 5-2 defeat at Holm Park. At the final whistle, Glentoran fans booed the players and as Coyle walked by, some of the fans nearby shouted "Coyle Out!" (In a strange twist, this also happened to former Northern Ireland Captain Alan McDonald who won the league with Glentoran in 2009, but the next season, saw Glentoran crash to a 6-0 home defeat to Coleraine F.C. and a 2-0 away defeat to Dungannon Swifts F.C. Coyle resigned that evening. He was replaced by Newry City manager Paul Millar.

Newry City[edit]

Coyle swapped clubs with Paul Millar who went to be Glentoran's new manager. Coyle only stayed for a couple of months and decided to retire. A year later Coyle was linked to a move to Glenavon F.C. but the job went to former Cliftonville & Coleraine manager Marty Quinn.

Return to Glentoran[edit]

Coyle returned to Glentoran as the Club's Director Of Football when Scott Young was appointed as the new First Team Manager for the East Belfast club. Coyle took charge of the team during Glentoran's Europa League qualifications while Young was completing his coaching badges. On 14 January 2012, Young resigned from the club, and Coyle was put in charge for Glentoran's game away to Ballymena United a match where the Glens won 3-0 in his first game back at the helm. Coyle also agreed to be caretaker manager at the club until they appointed a new manager. Coyle was in charge of first team duties until 22 February when former Cliftonville manager Eddie Patterson was appointed new Glentoran Manager. Coyle returned to his duties as Director of Football.

After Eddie Patterson was sacked as Glentoran Manager on 17 October 2015,[3] Coyle, still at the club in his role as Director of Football took the reins as Caretaker Manager once again whilst the club searched for a new manager. In August 2016 when Alan Kernaghan resigned as Glentoran manager, Coyle also returned to the role of Caretaker Manager.

Managerial Honours[edit]

Coyle is the most successful manager in Irish League history and has won 50 trophies in a success-filled career, mostly with Linfield and Glentoran


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Paul Millar
Newry City F.C. manager
Succeeded by
Gerry Flynn