Hoyle, Bert

Birth Date

22nd April 1920


Baildon, West Yorkshire.



Biographical Text

Bert Hoyle played for Exeter City during the late 1940s and tended to share goalkeeping responsibilities with Barney Singleton. He joined the club from Wolves and later played for Bristol Rovers where he made over a hundred appearances.

Bert had successfully played in Army football during the War but was unable to break into the Wolverhampton Wanderers first team when ‘emergency’ fixtures were being played in 1945/46. Deemed surplus to requirement at Molineux, he signed for Exeter City in August 1946. 

Sharing the goalkeeping position with Barney Singleton throughout his stay at St James’ Park, Bert made his Exeter debut in a 1-1 draw at home to Torquay United in August 1946 as he made 19 league appearances in his first season (compared with Singleton’s 23 games). Moving into 1947/48 Bert appeared in nine league games (including the final two) with Barney playing the remainder. But the roles were reversed in 1948/49 when Bert had 40 league outings and Barney just two.

Going into his fourth season with the Grecians, Bert retained his place for the first five league games before giving way once again to Singleton ahead of reclaiming his place for a mid-season run of games. Consequently over the four seasons the two goalkeepers had each played a similar number of league games: Bert 82; Barney 86. 

Bert subsequently moved to Bristol Rovers in May 1950 for a fee of £350 where he went on to play in 105 league matches until being involved in a car crash in February 1953 whilst travelling from Bristol to Exeter in February 1953 with former City player Ken Powell. Flung from the car, Bert suffered a fractured skull and - now suffering from defective vision in his right eye - retired from professional football in June 1953.

He made a playing comeback in December 1956 when he signed amateur forms for Dawlish Town and, by 1959, was working as a scout for Bristol Rovers before taking on a similar role for Wolverhampton Wanderers. Bert was also landlord of  the Ship Inn at  Cockwood from 1952 and occasionally helped with training at nearby Starcross.

Bert died in Dawlish on 6 July 2003 aged 83.





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