Vale – Austin Hoyle

Born: 19 July 1931
Passed Away: 12 January 2021
Men of League Foundation Member #30839

 

Long term, Balmain administrator, Austin Hoyle, passed away in mid-January, aged 89. Austin was a popular and hardworking official with Balmain for many years. He was unashamedly a Balmain boy and had one black and one gold eye.

Born in Drummoyne, he attended Burwood Christian Brothers where he established his love of Rugby League. Outside school, he had a long association with the Drummoyne club in the Balmain Junior League, as a player, coach and official. A crafty hooker, he played B grade and A grade with Drummoyne from 1949 to 1951. He then went to sea as a ship’s engineer and returned to his beloved Drummoyne Juniors after three years or so, as an administrator. He coached the club’s E grade Premiership winning teams of 1955 and 1956. This team included future NSW representative halfback, Laurie Fagan and John Renneberg, who went on to become a successful opening bowler with the Balmain first grade cricket team for six seasons or so.

In 1955, at age 27, Austin became President of the Balmain Junior League and is believed to be the youngest ever person to hold this position. He was Junior League President for four years and
coached the 1959 Balmain Presidents Cup team to the title and guided this side to the semi-finals in 1958 and 1960. He first served on the Balmain committee in 1961 and worked hard for the club until it amalgamated with Western Suburbs to form the Wests Tigers at the end of 1999. He was the only Balmain official to vote against the formation of the joint venture. In 1963 and 1964, he coached the Balmain third grade team and when the club won the 1969 first grade Premiership, he was chairman of selectors and team manager. When Kevin Humphreys moved to the NSWRL in 1973, Austin became the Balmain secretary. A Life Member of the Drummoyne Juniors Club, the Balmain Junior League and the Balmain Grade Club, Austin was also a foundation member of the Balmain Leagues Club, which was built in 1957.

His great uncle was Henry Clement Hoyle, who was a NSW MLA as the member for Surry Hills from 1910 to 1917 and was also the first President of the NSWRL.

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