Vale – Leo Doyle
Vale – Leo Doyle
Born 25 January 1923
Passed Away 27 December 2015
Leo Doyle was a humble and carrying man, as well as a very talented footballer.
Born in Wollongong, Leo became a schoolboy star while attending well known Illawarra school, CBC College. As a 12 year old,he was the dominating player when CBC won the Lyons Cup on 28 September 1935. The Lyons Cup was a schoolboys KO competition for boys under 14 years of age and weighing less than 42 kgs (six stone seven pounds). In the final Leo scored one of CBC’s tries in the 9-0 win over Port Kembla primary.
In September 1939, as a 16 year old, he kicked six goals from six attempts in CBC’s 21-5 win over Port Kembla in the under 18 final. In 1940 he scored 113 points during the season, as CBC marched to the under 18 Premiership. In the final, he landed four goals in the 11-0 win against Port Kembla.
The next year, Leo began the season in the under 21s but midway through the season was called up to first grade with CBC as a fullback. Port Kembla signed the talented back for the 1942 and 1943 seasons and played him mainly as their five eighth. The Port Kembla team during these two years was the best side on the South Coast and Leo played prominent roles in their two Grand Final wins.
In 1942 they defeated CBC 17-9 and in 1943, they beat Wollongong 16-5. Leo dominated Illawarra Rugby League in 1943. Not only was he a key member of the Illawarra Premiership winning team, he was awarded the Alex Jack Memorial Trophy as the best under 21 player and he was the Group 7 five eighth for the Country Week games against Sydney clubs. He played strongly for Group 7 and it was no surprise when he was selected as five eighth for NSW Country Firsts in their annual match with City at the Sydney Cricket Ground on 12 June 1943. In a high scoring game, City won by 37-25 but Leo impressed many people with his display.
After approaches from several Sydney clubs, Leo joined St. George for three seasons in 1944. In that first season he was St. George’s top first grade point scorer with 87 (five tries, 36 goals). When he left the Dragons he had played 27 first grade games and scored 112 points (eight tries, 44 goals). A back injury suffered towards the end of 1945, slowed him down in 1946 and he played just a handful of minor grade games. While with St. George, Leo played in the 1944 semi final at the SCG on 26 August against Newtown.
Albion Park secured his services as captain/coach for the 1947 South Coast competition and Leo guided them to the semi finals. In 1949, he led the Park to the Premiership when they beat Gerringong 2-0 in the Grand Final at Albion Park Showground on 8 October 1949. He had six or seven fruitful seasons with Albion Park and was a Life Member of their Junior League, because of his long and hard work with young players. In 1951 he became the first man in South Coast Rugby League history to coach two different clubs to the Premiership. Late in the season, while still playing with the Park, he was asked to help and coach the Jamberoo first graders. With Leo’s guidance, Jamberoo surprised many when they beat Gerringong 10-7 in the semi final, followed by Kiama 15-5 in the Grand Final at Berry. A couple of weeks later, he coached Jamberoo to a 27-18 win over Illawarra Premiers, Wollongong, for the South Coast Championship. Leo’s final season as a player was 1953 with Albion Park and a few years later, he began a long period back with CBC, working in various roles as a committeeman, selector etc.
Leo was 92 when he passed away. His wife Moira predeceased him in 2012 and he is survived by his children Barbara, Carolyn, Steve and Leonie and their families. Leo’s funeral will be held at Albion Park Catholic Church at 10am on Tuesday 5 January 2016.