7 December 1876
10 September 1927 (aged 50)
Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 27y 173d
Last game: 29y 149d
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Robert Boyle began his senior career in the VFA with North Melbourne, and was on a half back flank in the side's 7.6 (48) to 3.9 (27) Grand Final defeat of Richmond in 1903. The following year saw him cross to Carlton, where he crowned an outstanding debut season by appearing in the centre in the grand final clash with Fitzroy, which resulted in a 24 point win to the Maroons.
Boyle entered the 1905 season regarded as one of the hottest prospects in the VFL, and along with wingmen George Bruce and Edward Kennedy he helped give the Blues arguably the most damaging centreline in the competition. In 1906, however, his form fell away, and, after missing the club's ultimately successful finals campaign, he retired at the end of the season having made just 36 VFL appearances. The best of those appearances, however, were sufficiently noteworthy for him to be remembered with respect, not least because he arguably established the tactical prototype which was later developed to such outstanding effect by his successor as Carlton centreman, Rod McGregor.
Author - John Devaney