Former Manchester City and Everton boss Joe Royle takes role with Wigan Athletic

Joe Royle managed at Ipswich, Everton and Manchester City
Joe Royle managed at Ipswich, Everton and Manchester City

Former Manchester City and Everton manager Joe Royle will become a board member at Wigan Athletic as they begin a new dawn under the International Entertainment Corporation.

IEC formally took over Latics today and announced Wigan Athletic’s new-look boardroom.

Among the arrivals at the DW Stadium, Royle - a former player and manager at both Manchester City and Everton - was a notable inclusion.

He becomes a director of the club and in the initial statement about the takeover, Latics said he would “assist in the pursuit of designated objectives for the club”.

He is the dad of new executive chairman Darren Royle – but what else do we know about the 69-year-old?

Royle made 556 appearances in a 16-year playing career between 1966 and 1982, scoring 188 goals.

After joining as a school-boy, Royle played 270 times for the Toffees, scoring 119 goals. Having made his debut at the age of 16, Royle held the record of being the youngest player to play for Everton until current Latics player James Vaughan broke the record in April 2005 by 11 days.

For five seasons, Royle was Everton’s top scorer, including notching 23 goals in the Championship-winning side of 1969-70.

Royle spent three years at Manchester City between 1974-1977, before having further stints at Bristol City and Norwich City.

Royle was forced to retire in 1982 due to a serious knee injury, aged 33. His impressive goal-scoring record lead to the Liverpudlian earning international honours between 1971 and 1977 where he made six appearances for England, scoring twice.

He began his managerial career just months after his retirement with Oldham Athletic. Royle spent 12 years in charge at Boundary Park, taking them into the First Division (a year before it became a Premier League) in 1991 as Second Division champions. Oldham Athletic were the Football League Cup runners-up in 1989-90, after narrowly being defeated in the final by Brian Clough OBE’s Nottingham Forest.

Oldham finished 17th in their first top flight campaign for almost 70 years - and secured their place in the inaugural Premier League. They survived on the final day of the 1992-93 season, but Royle could not save Oldham from relegation in 1993-94.

Royle left his post at Oldham Athletic to replace Mike Walker as the Everton manager in November 1994. He led Everton to FA Cup glory in his first season as manager in 1994-95, and a year later, they finished sixth in the Premier League. Everton were less convincing in 1996-97, and on transfer deadline day 1997, he was not permitted to sign Tore Andre Flo and Claus Eftevaag by chairman Peter Johnson, which led to his resignation.

After his excellent success at Goodison Park as both a player and manager, he was named the Everton Giant for 2004.

After a 11-month absence from football, Royle accepted his next managerial challenge at Manchester City in February 1998. With the club deep in the relegation zone, Royle could not save the club from relegation to Division Two. However, Manchester City returned to the Division One in the next season through the play-offs, and a year later, they were promoted to the Premiership.

City only spent one season back in the top-tier, leading to Royle’s dismissal in May 2001.

Royle went on to manage Ipswich Town in 2002 to 2006, before returning to Oldham Athletic in March 2009.

In June 2014, Royle joined his former club Norwich City as a footballing consultant to new Canaries manager Neil Adams.

More recently in 2016, Royle returned to Everton to help oversee youth development alongside former Wigan Athletic defender David Unsworth.

Following the departure of ex-Latics boss Roberto Martinez, it was announced that Royle would assist Unsworth in taking charge of Everton’s final match of the season against Norwich City,

Royle stepped down from his role as Everton’s professional development co-ordinator in December 2017.

Royle is believed to have aided Wigan Athletic’s loan acquisition of Everton duo Antonee Robinson and Callum Connolly earlier this summer given his long-standing roots to the club.