Experienced midfielder Steve Doyle joined Hull City at the start of the 1989/90 season as newly appointed manager Colin Appleton, returning for a second spell in charge of the Tigers, assembled a squad that was ready to perform his all-action style of football. Doyle went straight into the City first team but the action was mainly seen in City’s own box as a string of punishing defeats led to the rapid demise of Appleton after three months. Stan Ternent took over the manager’s hotseat and retained Doyle in a crntral midfield role, who rewarded that faith with his first City goal, a December 1989 winner against Port Vale. Doyle’s second and final goal for City followed in Februay 1990, during a messy 3-4 defeat at Leeds. Doyle ended the season on a relative high, contributing to a run of victories that saw the Tigers rise clear of the relegation trap door. He started the 1990/91 out of the first team as Ternent introduced a gaggle of new signings, but Doyle was back in the side by mid-September. However his form dipped and he was jettisoned by Ternent in November 1990.
Stephen Charles Doyle was born in Neath, South Wales but started his footballing career in the north west of England at Preston North End. He was handed his debut at Deepdale as a 16 year old in November 1974 – Doyle was Preston’s youngest debutant for nearly 40 years – and was called up regularly to the first team for the next two seasons. In February 1976 Doyle, not yet 18 years of age, scored his first senior goal against Halifax Town and became a first team regular – retained his place in the side for much of the next six seasons as Preston rose to the Second Division in 1978 only to be relegated three years later. He left Deepdale in September 1982 having made 238 senior appearances and scored 11 goals.
In September 1982 Doyle joined Third Division rivals Huddersfield Town and he immediately became a first team regular as the Terriers won promotion to the Second Division. He was first name on the team sheet at Leeds Road for the next three seasons and nurtured a reputation for being a reliable keep-it-simple midfield operative. In September 1986, having made 188 appearances and scored 6 goals for Huddersfield, Doyle moved to another Second Division side Sunderland. Doyle’s time at Roker Park saw him play regular first team football as the Black Cats dropped into the Third Division in 1987 before bouncing back at Division Three champions a year later. Doyle had scored twice in 115 appearances for Sunderland when he joined Hull City at the start of the 1989/90 season.
Doyle joined Rochdale in November 1990 and played Division Four football for the Lancastrian outfit for four seasons. After starting his fifth season, 1994/95, in the Rochdale team a change of management saw Steve drop out of first team. In April 1995 Doyle was appointed player-coach at Northern Premier League side Chorley and he took over as caretaker manager in November 1996, taking on the job permanently in January 1997 before resigning in April 1997 – this was Steve’s last act as a professional footballer. Between his debut in November 1974 and his final game for Rochdale 21 years later in November 1995, Steve Doyle made an impressive 735 senior appearances and scored 22 goals.
Doyle was given a Wales under-21 cap in February 1979, in a 0-1 defeat to England at Swansea’s Vetch Field. Four years later in September 1983, in an era that permitted the use of an over-age player, Doyle was given a second under-21 cap at 25 years of age in a 2-3 defeat to Norway played at Fredrikstad.
Date/Place of Birth: 2 June 1958, Neath
Hull City First Game: 19 August 1989, Leicester City H (League Division 2), 31 years, 78 days old
Hull City Final Game: 10 November 1990, Ipswich Town H (League Division 2), 32 years, 161 days old
Preston North End (1974-1982), Huddersfield Town (1982-1987), Sunderland (1987-1989), Hull City (1989-1990), Rochdale (1990-1995), Chorley (1995-1997)
Hull City Record
Career: 54 apps, 2 goalsSteve Doyle
|1989/90||36 (0)||2||1 (0)||0||2 (0)||0||-||-||1 (0)||0|
|1990/91||11 (0)||0||-||-||3 (0)||0||-||-||-||-|