Tuesday, 8 June 2010

37. Mike Doyle

Position : Centre half

Played : 1983-4

Appearances : 24

Goals : 1

At 36 Mike Doyle was even older than Chapman but had played most of the 1982-3 season in the Second Division with Bolton so it was perhaps not unreasonable to think he could do a good job for another season in the Fourth. The former Manchester City stalwart with 5 England caps had also enjoyed an indian summer with Stoke before moving to Burnden Park.

There were still signs of class in Doyle's play, moments that made you sigh in appreciation of his skill but it was soon apparent that his legs weren't up to another 46 games and before Christmas he had been dropped in favour of Bill Williams. His relationship with Greenhoff deteriorated and he was fined for not turning up for a reserve game at Chorley. In his autobiography his only comment on his Dale career was "Jimmy was a misery". Later in the season injuries got him a recall and he was in the side at Halifax; I remember the Observer saying how sad it was to see such an illustrious player "ambling about to no purpose in a rank bad Fourth Division defence".

Already a successful businessman he retired at the end of the season.

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