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Club News


4 January 2024

Club News


4 January 2024

The obituary for Robert 'Bobby' Hoy

- Bobby Hoy Obituary 
- Robert 'Bobby' Hoy (1950-2024)
- Played for the Terriers for seven seasons

Robert ‘Bobby’ Hoy (Heritage Number 417) was born in Halifax on 10th January 1950, and signed for Town in April 1965 as a 15-year-old from junior football in Halifax.

He was just 17, and still an apprentice when he made his first team debut in April 1967 in an away match at Birmingham City. He made an immediate impact, scoring the winner in a 1-0 win at St. Andrews. He had only travelled with the first team as “skip lad”, but as regular outside-right Mike Hellawell felt unwell, Town boss Tom Johnston opted for the youngster.

He eventually signed professional in November 1967, and during the 1967-68 season, he made just two further first team appearances. However, he was selected for the England Youth side in February 1968, for a match against Eire, where he scored twice in a 4-1 victory at Fratton Park. He was then selected for Town’s first team just days later in a 1-0 loss at Rotherham United. He also played a further game for England’s youth side that season.

Tom Johnston left the club in May 1968 and was replaced by chief coach, Ian Greaves. During the 1968-69 season, Hoy became more involved with the first team. And while he was only limited to nine appearances that season, he ended 1968-69 as first choice outside-right, taking Steve Smith’s place in the side.

He really came into his own during the 1969-70 season, starting the first 23 matches, where he scored seven goals, before succumbing to injury in December 1969. Once back fit, Hoy struggled to dislodge Steve Smith from the side and was limited to just another five games that season, all coming at outside-left in the place of Colin Dobson. However, for the final three games of the season, Dick Kryzwicki took his position as Town won the Second Division title. Hoy later spoke of how he lost his medal shortly afterwards in training!

As Town adapted to life in the First Division during the 1970-71 season, Hoy was in the reserves until November 1970 when he was brought into the side, with Steve Smith switching to midfield. In his second game back, Hoy bagged a brace to secure an important 3-2 victory over Burnley at Leeds Road.

A fortnight later, he scored Town’s goal in a 1-1 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford. Then, in January 1971, he forced a replay in the 3rd Round of the FA Cup by scoring Town’s goal in a 1-1 draw with Birmingham City. He lost his place shortly afterwards, with Smith resuming his responsibilities at outside-right and Hoy having to make do in the reserve team. He did play a couple of games at outside-left in place of Les Chapman.

Hoy had now been in and out of the first team for the last couple of years and was struggling with consistency. So much so, he was linked with a move away from Leeds Road on the eve of the 1971-72 season. The proposed move to Cardiff City never happened and he fought his way back into the side, playing 22 matches as Town miserably slipped out of Division One, having failed to win any of their last 22 games.

As the 1972-73 season began, Dick Krzywicki, Mick Fairclough and Dave Smith all had spells at outside-right, as Town announced that they were willing to listen to offers for Hoy. However, after a solitary appearance in October 1972, Hoy fought his way back into the first team in December and missed just two matches for the rest of the season as Town were relegated to Division Three on goal average.

For the following season, Hoy played 26 matches, mostly on the right-wing as Town finished 10th in Division Three. Hoy started the season as a regular, but played his last match in March 1974 as he struggled to get back into the side as the likes of Terry Gray and Les Chapman were preferred on the right-wing. At the end of the 1973-74 season, Ian Greaves left the club.

For the 1974-75 season, Bobby Collins took charge and immediately picked Hoy as the first choice right-winger. He was virtually ever-present in the side until January 1975, which coincided with the appointment of former Town boss Tom Johnston (who initially gave Hoy his debut in 1967) as General Manager. After his appointment, Hoy played just three matches before he left the club in March 1975 for Blackburn Rovers, in a swap deal with Barry Endean, two months before the club were relegated to Division Four. His final match for Town came in a 1-0 loss at Watford shortly before his departure.

Hoy saw out his career with spells at Blackburn Rovers, Halifax Town, York City, Rochdale and Macclesfield Town before retirement in 1981. After his career ended, Hoy became a nightclub singer. He was already an accomplished singer, having recorded several records with his sister June in the band Simplicity. This included the 1972 single, Marachi Band.

He was also involved in local football after his playing days ended, coaching Lindley in the mid-1980s and was later involved with Town’s Football in the Community scheme as the scheme’s training manager during the early 1990s. He later worked for Dews Vauxhall delivering parts before living in retirement in Birchencliffe.

Hoy was well-loved by the Town faithful and renowned for his dazzling skill. He endeared himself to the supporters from the very start by scoring on his debut. He was highly thought of before that debut and played for his country at youth level but didn’t hit the heights many felt he was destined for.

Despite this, he played a huge part in the promotion of 1969-70, and was an important player in what is often considered one of Town’s greatest ever sides. He was also voted as one of the club’s 100 Fan’s Favourites in 2006 and no doubt the tributes will start flooding in over the next few days. As the Town fans used to chant, Viva, Bobby Hoy!

Perhaps it’s best to let the late Examiner writer Alan Driscoll have the last word, as it was he who described Hoy as a player who “has the skill to win a match virtually on his own. You scarcely frealise he's on the park for nine-tenths of the game, but then, he's away like a shot, the ball's in the back of the net and the opposition is stripped to ribbons”. Some accolade…

Bobby Hoy passed earlier away this week at the age of 73.

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