Royle attended Quarry Bank High School in Liverpool where he was an exceptional all-round sportsman. Unusually for a Grammar school boy he played for the Liverpool Schoolboys team, which was usually drawn from Secondary Modern schools.
A number of clubs were interested in signing Royle, including Manchester United, but it was his home town club Everton that succeeded in recruiting him to their ranks. He went on to make 270 appearances for Everton, scoring 119 times. He made his debut at the age of 16 and held the record of being the youngest player to play for Everton until James Vaughan beat the record on 10 April 2005 by 11 days. For five seasons he was Everton's top scorer, notably scoring 23 goals in the Championship-winning side of 1969–70 and Manchester City manager Tony Book bought Royle for £170,000 in 1974 and he went on to claim further honours as he helped them to win the League Cup in 1976.
He left Maine Road in November 1977 to join Bristol City and had a further stint with Norwich City, including winning Norwich City player of the year in 1981, before being forced to retire from the game in 1982 due to a knee injury. In 2002, he was voted into the club's Hall of Fame by Norwich supporters. A fitting end to a fine career. His time at Bristol City, however, had not been so fruitful. After a storming on-loan debut, scoring four, Joe only tallied another 14 goals in the remaining 100 games with the reds.
Royle was awarded the first of his six England caps against Malta in 1971 and held the record as being the youngest England player to score a goal until Michael Owen scored against Morocco in 1998. This record was again beaten by Wayne Rooney against Macedonia in 2003.
He soon replaced Mike Walker as manager of Everton and took them to FA Cup glory in his first season as manager (1994–95). A year later they finished sixth in the Premiership, but their form in 1996–97 was less convincing and on transfer deadline day 1997 he was not permitted to sign the Norwegians (Tore André Flo and Claus Eftevaag) by chairman Peter Johnson, which led to his resignation. He was named the Everton Giant for 2004 for his successes as both a player and a manager for the Toffeemen.
After 11 months out of the game, he accepted the challenge to manage Manchester City in February 1998. When Royle arrived the club was deep in the relegation zone and even though he could not save the club from relegation to Division Two, the next season they were promoted through the play-offs and a year later were promoted to the Premiership. It was said in his book that he was physically attacked by Paulo Wanchope, who was at Manchester City when he was manager. Manchester City only spent one season back in the top division, leading to Royle being dismissed after relegation in May 2001.
Royle returned to the game in November 2002 to manage Ipswich Town, who had been relegated from the Premier League the previous season. In January 2003 the club entered administration, which lead to the exit of several leading players and a restriction of transfer and wage funds. Royle twice led Ipswich to the play-offs, in 2004 and 2005, but lost on both occasions to West Ham United. Several players were subsequently sold off to Premier League sides, and Ipswich finished 15th in the 2005–06 season, their lowest finish since 1966, and Royle left the club by 'mutual consent' in the close season.
|Oldham Athletic||July 14 1982||November 10 1994||608||225||218||165||37.00|
|Everton||November 10 1994||March 27 1997||118||47||35||36||39.83|
|Manchester City||February 18 1998||May 21 2001||171||74||50||47||43.27|
|Ipswich Town||October 28 2002||May 11 2006||189||81||60||48||42.85|
A City in Despair; Frank Clark's Warning to His Friend, Joe Royle 'This Is a Rat-Infested Place. It Will Take a Very, Very Long Time to Sort Things Out'
Feb 22, 1998; Byline: JOE MELLING THE request to new manager Joe Royle was politely delivered by one of the many well-heeled punters who insist...
Football: Hotline: I'm Just like a Knackered Old Cowboy Dreaming of One Last Round-Up .. in the Premier; JOE ROYLE ONE OF FOOTBALL'S MIGHTIEST WARRIORS IS ITCHING FOR HIS FINAL BIG BATTLE PAUL McCARTHY Talks to JOE ROYLE
Dec 05, 2004; Byline: PAUL McCARTHY HE'S got more metal in him than an ironmonger's storeroom and creates havoc whenever he walks through...